Jan. 28, 2002
NKU TO HOST SIUE ON THURSDAY
Norse also prepare for showdown with Lewis this Saturday
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team is 13-5 after posting a 78-73 win at the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Saturday. The Norse are 9-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and tied with Lewis University for second place.
NKU will play host to Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville this Thursday night at 7:45 p.m., and the Norse will face Lewis in a GLVC showdown at 3:15 p.m. Saturday in Regents Hall.
Craig Sanders scored 30 points Saturday to lead NKU past Missouri-St. Louis. The Norse led by as many as nine points early in the first half, but Missouri-St. Louis used the inside scoring of center Scott Kassel to forge a 36-36 halftime tie. Kassel had 15 of his 25 points in the first half.
Sanders, who made eight three-point shots, connected on a three-pointer late in the second half to give NKU a 63-60 lead. Mike Kelseys three-point shot at the 1:27 mark extended the NKU advantage to 72-66, and Sanders sealed the victory by making a pair of free throws in the closing seconds.
SANDERS APPROACHES RECORD: Sanders has now scored in double figures in 38 consecutive games, and he can tie the NKU record this Thursday night. Brady Jackson currently holds the NKU record of 39 straight games in double figures.
Sanders also has 1,812 career points, which ranks No. 5 in school history. Sanders needs 169 points to break the NKU all-time scoring record of 1,980, which is also held by Jackson.
Sanders enters Thursday night averaging 19.6 points per game.
SHIELDS MISSES ROAD TRIP: NKU played both road games last week without head coach Ken Shields, who returned home due to severe pain in his back and hip. NKU assistant coach Dave Bezold directed the team in Shields absence on the road trip.
TORRID FROM THREE-POINT RANGE: NKU made 16 of 30 (53.3 percent) three-point attempts against Missouri-St. Louis on Saturday.
STOWERS CONTINUES STREAK: NKU junior guard Brenden Stowers extended his streak of consecutive games in double figures to six Saturday with 10 points. Stowers, who averages 13.3 points per game, leads the Norse with 39 steals and 53 assists.
FIELDS ON A ROLL: NKU sophomore forward Darnell Fields has averaged 11 points during the Norses last three games. He is now scoring 6.3 ppg for the season, and he is shooting 83.3 percent from the free throw line.
DON'T TAKE IT INSIDE: NKU has 74 blocked shots this season compared to just 29 by the opposition. Norse senior forward Carl Mitchell continues to lead the team with 35 blocked shots. Bobby St-Preux has 16 rejections, and Darnell Fields has 10 blocks.
ABOUT SIUE: The Cougars are 7-12 overall after dropping a 90-86 decision to Saint Josephs last Saturday. SIUE is 3-10 in the GLVC.
The Cougars feature senior forward Marty Perry, who averages 16.5 ppg and 5.9 rebounds per game. Perry has also made 30 of 67 three-point attempts. Junior forward Ron Heflin averages 11.6 ppg, and junior guard Garrett Thomas is scoring 11.2 ppg.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SIUE: Earlier this month, on Jan. 5, Craig Sanders scored 30 points as NKU defeated SIUE, 90-62, at the Vadalabene Center.
Bobby St-Preux added 17 points, nine rebounds and five steals, and Carl Mitchell scored 15 points and had seven rebounds for the Norse. Brenden Stowers finished with 10 points, six assists and four steals.
NKU built a 44-29 halftime lead by shooting 51.7 percent from the field. The Norse also held SIUE to just 39.3 percent shooting from the field.
STREAK AGAINST SIUE: The Norse now own 12 consecutive victories against SIUE. NKU has not lost to SIUE since the 1991-92 season, when the Cougars posted a 97-90 win against the Norse in Edwardsville, Ill.
Since joining the GLVC, SIUE has gone 0-11 against NKU. The Norse are 6-0 against SIUE in Regents Hall since the Cougars started play in the GLVC. The Norse lead the all-time series with the Cougars, 13-4.
ABOUT LEWIS: The Flyers, who play at the University of Indianapolis on Thursday, are 14-4 overall. Lewis is 9-3 in the GLVC.
Lewis is led by senior guard Sammy Bacino, who averages 13.6 ppg. Sophomore center Austin Real is scoring 12.3 ppg and leads Lewis in rebounding at 6.2 rpg. Junior guard Stan Strong averages 11.6 ppg and has made 48 of 119 three-point attempts.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST LEWIS: Earlier this season on Nov. 24 at Romeoville, Ill., Craig Sanders scored 22 points as NKU rallied from a 20-point deficit to defeat Lewis, 88-73, in the Neil Carey Arena.
Lewis built a 42-22 lead with 4:58 remaining in the first half, but NKU sliced the deficit to 13 points (46-33) at halftime.
In the second half, NKU shot 69.6 percent from the field and held Lewis to just 28.6 percent shooting. Sanders led the comeback with 16 points during the second-half run.
Bobby St-Preux added 17 points for the Norse. Brenden Stowers scored 16 points and had three assists for NKU, while Carl Mitchell added 14 points and two blocked shots. NKU converted 27 of 35 free throws and committed just nine turnovers.