March 5, 2001
NKU TO MEET GRAND VALLEY IN NCAAs
Norse (25-6) play Grand Valley State (21-8) this Thursday night
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team is 25-6 after dropping an 84-67 decision to Kentucky Wesleyan College in the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament last Friday night.
NKU enters the NCAA Division II Tournament as the No. 3 seed in the NCAA II Great Lakes Region, and the Norse will play No. 6 seed Grand Valley State University (21-8) at 9:15 p.m. this Thursday night in Owensboro, Ky.
If NKU defeats Grand Valley State, the Norse will face No. 2 seed University of Southern Indiana at 9:15 p.m. Friday night. The championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday.
Kentucky Wesleyan is the No. 1 seed in the Great Lakes Region and host for the event. The Panthers have won three consecutive Great Lakes Region championships.
The last team other than Kentucky Wesleyan to win a Great Lakes Region title was NKU, which captured the championship during the 1996-97 season.
CONLEYS ASSISTS: NKU senior guard Craig Conley has set an NKU single-season record with 188 assists. Conley now has 513 career assists, and he needs 17 to break the NKU all-time record of 529 (held by Shannon Minor).
SANDERS KEEPS STREAK ALIVE: NKU junior forward Craig Sanders has now scored in double figures in 17 consecutive games. The last time Sanders did not score in double figures was on Jan. 6 against Southern Indiana.
Sanders has averaged 19.0 points per game during the double-figure streak.
WINNING TRACK: NKU, which enters the NCAA Tournament coming off a loss against Kentucky Wesleyan in the GLVC Tournament semifinals, has not endured a two-game losing streak all season. Each time NKU has lost, it has rebounded to win at least its next game. The Norses longest winning streak this season was 13 consecutive games.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: NKU is 11-7 all-time in the NCAA Division II Tournament. NKU advanced to the NCAA Division II national championship game twice (in 1996 and 1997). This is NKUs seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament, and the Norse are making their sixth trip in the last seven years.
NKU has not lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament since the 1977-78 season, when Indiana State University-Evansville (now Southern Indiana) knocked off the Norse in the opening game.
OWENSBORO JINX: NKU has not beaten Kentucky Wesleyan in the Owensboro Sportscenter since Feb. 11, 1988, when the Norse posted a 93-85 victory over the Panthers. Since then, NKU has dropped 14 consecutive games to KWC - including an 80-57 decision earlier this season - in the Owensboro Sportscenter.
NKU head coach Ken Shields is 0-14 against KWC in the Owensboro Sportscenter. NKU has won twice in the Owensboro Sportscenter in the NCAA Tournament against teams other than Kentucky Wesleyan - victories over Northern Michigan (2000) and Ferris State (1998).
NKU AGAINST THE NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD: NKU is 1-2 against Kentucky Wesleyan, 0-1 against Southern Indiana, and 1-0 against Gannon (Pa.).
ABOUT GRAND VALLEY STATE: The Lakers enter the NCAA Tournament with a 21-8 record after winning the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship last week at Grand Rapids, Mich. Grand Valley State, which posted a 102-92 win over Gannon (Pa.) to win the GLIAC Tournament championship, is the No. 6 seed in the NCAA II Great Lakes Region.
Grand Valley State features junior guard John Flynn, who averages 17.9 points per game. Senior forward Donte Smith - who scored 31 points against Gannon in the GLIAC Tournament championship game - averages 15.9 ppg and 5.6 rebounds per game. Sophomore center Jason Bauer is scoring 11.5 ppg and leads the team in rebounding at 9.0 rpg. Senior forward Micah Bell averages 11.0 ppg for the Lakers.
NKU and Grand Valley State have never met in mens basketball.