Nov. 17, 2003
NKU TO MEET GANNON THIS FRIDAY
Norse play host to John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will play host to the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic this weekend in Regents Hall, and the Norse will face Gannon (Pa.) University at 7:45 p.m. Friday in the first round.
In the other first-round contest, Christian Brothers (Tenn.) University will meet West Virginia Wesleyan College at 5:30 p.m. The consolation game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the championship at 7:45 p.m.
NKU is 1-2 after dropping a 91-76 decision to South Dakota State University on Nov. 9 at the Disney Division II Tip-Off Classic at Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Marquise Richardson and Andy Moeller combined for 47 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to lead South Dakota State.
Moeller made 14 of 15 free throws and finished with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists. Richardson added 23 points, six rebounds and five assists as the Jackrabbits rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to remain unbeaten (3-0).
South Dakota State shot 65 percent from the field in the second half and held NKU to just 35.1 percent shooting for the game. The Jackrabbits, who scored 66 points in the second half, won the rebounding battle by a 44-34 margin and converted 38 of 50 free throws.
Mike Kelsey scored 23 points to lead NKU, which made 9 of 25 three-point attempts. Jesse Rupe added 15 points for the Norse, who finished 1-2 at the round-robin Disney Division II Tip-Off Classic.
NKU opened the tournament with a 78-65 win over Kennesaw State University on Nov. 7. In the second round on Nov. 8, Philadelphia (Pa.) University defeated NKU, 81-78.
KELSEY OFF TO TORRID START: NKU junior guard Mike Kelsey leads NKU in scoring at 19.7 points per game entering Friday's contest against Gannon. Kelsey has made 11 of 27 three-point attempts this season and also averages 3.33 assists per game.
INSIDE FORCE: NKU senior center Jesse Rupe averages 15.3 ppg and a team-leading 6.0 rebounds per game. Rupe is also shooting 53.6 percent from the field and 84.2 percent from the free throw line. He scored a career-high 24 points against Philadelphia on Nov. 8.
ROWLAND TO THE POINT: NKU junior point guard Sean Rowland is tied for team leadership with 10 assists, and he averages 6.7 ppg. He also averages 4.7 rebounds per contest.
FROM LONG RANGE: NKU has taken 71 three-pointers in its first three games, an average of 23.7 attempts per contest. Senior guard Adam Howell (11.7 ppg) has made 8 of 20 three-point attempts, while junior guard Steve Purdon (8.7 ppg) is 6 of 13 from long range.
TOURNAMENT STREAK: NKU is 21-0 all-time in the first round of the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic. The Norse have captured the tournament championship 13 times, and NKU has won the event four straight years.
A YEAR AGO IN THE GRIFFIN/LIONS CLASSIC: Mike Kelsey scored 23 points as NKU defeated Kentucky State, 90-65, in the championship game of the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic.
Kelsey connected on six three-point shots as NKU captured the tournament championship for the fourth consecutive year. Kelsey was also named the tournament's most valuable player.
Brenden Stowers added 15 points, six rebounds and four steals for NKU. Bobby St-Preux finished with 11 points and three blocked shots for the Norse, while teammates Quentin Smith and Adam Howell each added 10 points.
Stowers and Smith were named to the All-Tournament Team, while NKUs Jesse Rupe was named the tournaments best defensive player.
ABOUT GANNON: The Golden Knights, who posted a 20-10 record a year ago, return two starters in 2003-04. Junior center Geoff Husted averaged 14.1 ppg and 7.1 rpg last season and is Gannons top inside player.
Senior swingman Brandon Andrews averaged 12.8 ppg a year ago and also returns to the lineup.
Gannon opened the season Monday with an 87-61 victory over Columbia Union at Erie, Pa. Matt Jones led the Golden Knights with 18 points, while Husted and Forrest Kirby each added 16 points.