Jan. 22, 2002
NKU TO MEET USI THIS THURSDAY
Norse (12-4) look to extend win streak to seven
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team is 12-4 after rallying for a 76-72 victory over Bellarmine University last Saturday in Regents Hall. The Norse are 8-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and in sole possession of second place.
The Norse, who have now won six consecutive games, will play the University of Southern Indiana at 8:30 p.m. this Thursday night at Evansville, Ind. NKU will also play a road game at the University of Missouri-St. Louis at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.
Brenden Stowers scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half Saturday to lead NKU past Bellarmine. Stowers also made a trio of three-point shots midway through the second half as the Norse rallied for the victory.
Bellarmine led by as many as nine points in the first half, but NKU cut the deficit to 35-34 at halftime on a Mike Kelsey three-pointer. The Norse shot 55.6 percent from the field in the second half and eventually built a six-point lead with 5:45 left on a pair of free throws by Darnell Fields.
Bellarmine cut the lead to two points three different times in the final minutes, but free throws by Stowers and Craig Sanders sealed the win for NKU.
STREAK AT 36 FOR SANDERS: Sanders finished with 17 points against Bellarmine and has scored in double figures in 36 consecutive games. The NKU record for consecutive games in double figures is 39 (held by Brady Jackson).
The last time Sanders was held below double figures was more than a year ago, on Jan. 6, 2001, during a 90-75 loss at Southern Indiana.
FIELDS IN THE CLUTCH: NKU sophomore forward Darnell Fields finished with a career-high 13 points against Bellarmine. Fields also had four rebounds and a key tip-in during the second half to help NKU rally for the win. Fields averages 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds. He is also shooting 83.3 percent from the free throw line.
STOWERS DELIVERS AGAIN: NKU junior guard Brenden Stowers has emerged as one of the GLVCs best players in tight games. Stowers, who has made game-winning shots against Southern Indiana, Quincy and Saint Josephs this season, scored 18 points in the second half last Saturday to rally NKU past Bellarmine. Stowers connected on a trio of three-point shots midway through the second half, and he made a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to seal the victory.
ABOUT SOUTHERN INDIANA: The Screaming Eagles are 13-5 overall after dropping a 92-87 decision at Saint Josephs College last Saturday. Southern Indiana is 7-4 in the GLVC and in fourth place.
Southern Indiana is led by senior forward/center Ronnie Griffin, who averages 13.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Griffin, a transfer from the University of Oklahoma, has also made 13 three-point shots this season. Freshman guard Cris Brunson averages 12.3 ppg and has made a team-leading 32 three-pointers this season.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SOUTHERN INDIANA: Earlier this season on Dec. 8, Brenden Stowers' driving layup with seven seconds left in overtime gave NKU an 83-82 win over Southern Indiana in Regents Hall.
Wes Atteburys tip-in with 16 seconds remaining gave Southern Indiana an 82-81 lead, setting the stage for Stowers. After Stowers dribbled past two defenders for a layup to give the Norse an 83-82 advantage, Southern Indiana missed two potential game-winning shots in the final seconds.
NKU rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half by shooting 60 percent from the field. NKU eventually took a 66-60 lead with 2:29 remaining when Stowers converted a layup.
Southern Indiana, though, used a 9-3 run to send the game into overtime. Carl Mitchell had a chance to win the game at the buzzer for NKU, but his shot was off target.
The Norse made six of seven shots, including both three-point attempts, in the overtime to pull out the win.
Stowers finished with 14 points and four assists. Craig Sanders led the Norse with 19 points, and Mitchell added 13 points and two blocked shots.
NKU IN THE PAC: NKU has lost four straight games in PAC Arena to 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 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.