Jan. 21, 2003
NKU PLAYS BELLARMINE ON THURSDAY
Norse (14-3) ranked No. 17 nationally in NCAA Division II
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will play host to Bellarmine University at 7:45 p.m. this Thursday night in Regents Hall.
NKU is 14-3 overall after dropping an 87-82 decision at the University of Southern Indiana last Saturday. The Norse, ranked No. 17 nationally in the latest NCAA Division II poll, lead the Great Lakes Valley Conference with an 8-2 record. The University of Indianapolis trails NKU by one-half game in the GLVC standings with a 7-2 record.
Diondre Givens and Cris Brunson combined for 38 points Saturday to lead Southern Indiana past NKU at the PAC Arena. Dennis Coutee added 16 points as the Screaming Eagles shot 65.4 percent from the field in the second half and rallied from a nine-point deficit to defeat NKU.
Brenden Stowers scored 28 points to lead NKU. Mike Kelsey added 20 points, and Quentin Smith finished with 13 points for the Norse.
Stowers converted a layup to give NKU a 79-77 lead with 3:30 remaining in the game, but a jumper by Coutee tied the game at 79-79. Brunson (17 points) made a three-pointer with 2:42 left to give Southern Indiana a 82-79 advantage, and the Screaming Eagles led the remainder of the game.
TOUGH ROAD GAME: NKU has now lost six straight games at the PAC Arena against Southern Indiana. The Norse have not defeated the Screaming Eagles on the road since a 99-87 victory in the 1996 NCAA II Great Lakes Region championship game.
NKU has not won a regular-season game in the PAC Arena since the 1994-95 season, when the Norse rallied for a 96-90 victory over Southern Indiana. At that time, Southern Indiana was ranked No. 1 in the nation.
STOWERS TIES NKU RECORD: NKU senior guard Brenden Stowers tied an NKU single-game record by making 17 free throws on Saturday. Derek Fields also hit 17 free throws in a game against Kentucky State on Feb. 15, 1989.
Stowers leads NKU in scoring at 15.7 points per game, and he is also No. 1 on the team in assists (59) and steals (34). He currently ranks No. 21 all-time in Norse history with 1,077 career points, and his next basket will move him past Jimmy Matthews (1,078 points) into 20th place on the list.
NKU HOME WIN STREAK: NKU has won 17 consecutive games in Regents Hall. The 17-game home win streak ranks No. 3 nationally in NCAA Division II mens basketball. Humboldt (Calif.) State is No. 1 with 25 straight home wins, followed by Southern Indiana with 22 consecutive victories at home.
NKU and Delta State are tied for No. 3 with 17 straight homecourt wins. The Norse have not lost in Regents Hall since Dec. 6, 2001, when Kentucky Wesleyan College posted a 64-62 win over NKU.
KELSEY EXTENDS STREAK: NKU sophomore guard Mike Kelsey enters Thursdays game having scored in double figures in nine consecutive games. Kelsey averages 14.5 ppg, and he has made 45 of 109 three-point attempts.
STILL NO. 1 IN THE GLVC: NKU continues to lead the GLVC in field goal percentage at 50.8 percent. The Norse also lead the GLVC in three-point shooting percentage at 40.4 percent, and they rank No. 3 in scoring margin at +10.5 ppg.
ABOUT BELLARMINE: The Knights are 7-11 after suffering a 110-77 loss at Kentucky Wesleyan last Saturday. Bellarmine is 2-7 in the GLVC.
Bellarmine is led by senior guard Brad Ayer, who averages 14.6 ppg. Ayer averaged 23 ppg last week in losses to Southern Indiana and Kentucky Wesleyan. He made 10 of 16 shots from the field and scored 26 points in a 107-82 loss at Southern Indiana last Thursday.
Junior guard Zach Miller averages 14.1 ppg, and he has made 31 of 66 three-point attempts. Junior forward Justin Cornell is scoring 13.2 ppg, and junior forward Bruce Johnson averages 12.5 ppg.
Bellarmine ranks No. 2 in the GLVC in scoring offense at 85.8 ppg. The Knights are also No. 1 in the GLVC in three-pointers made with 147 in 18 games.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST BELLARMINE: Earlier this season on Dec. 7 at Louisville, Ky., Brenden Stowers scored 23 points as NKU defeated Bellarmine, 106-85, in Knights Hall. Stowers, who also had five assists, made 8 of 13 shots from the field. Mike Kelsey scored 18 points for the Norse, who shot 59.7 percent from the field and committed just six turnovers.
Chris Seabrooks scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds for the Norse. Seabrooks connected on 6 of 10 shots from the field and made all five of his free throw attempts.
NKU built a 58-45 halftime lead as Kelsey scored 13 points and made three three-pointers. Stowers and Seabrooks scored 11 points each in the first half. After Bellarmine sliced the lead 65-59 early in the second half, NKU used a 23-8 run to build a 85-67 advantage.
Bobby St-Preux scored 13 points for NKU, while Quentin Smith added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Norse. Adam Howell also scored in double figures with 10 points.
THE STREAK AGAINST BELLARMINE: NKU has beaten Bellarmine 16 consecutive times. Bellarmines last victory against NKU came on Feb. 3, 1994, when the Knights escaped with a 73-72 win in Regents Hall.