Nov. 24, 2003
NKU FACES THOMAS MORE THIS WEDNESDAY
Norse own 17-game win streak in series against TMC
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will play host to Thomas More College at 7:45 p.m. this Wednesday night in Regents Hall.
NKU enters that game with a 2-3 record after dropping a 66-55 decision to Christian Brothers (Tenn.) University last Saturday in the championship game of the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic in Regents Hall.
Jake Bazeley, Jordan Jeffries and Adam Heitzman combined for 43 points to lead Christian Brothers past NKU. Bazeley finished with a game-high 16 points for Christian Brothers, which improved to 4-0. Jeffries added 14 points and five rebounds, while Heitzman - named the tournaments most outstanding player - scored 13 points, grabbed four rebounds and had two blocked shots.
Jesse Rupe led NKU with 13 points and 12 rebounds, and he also added two blocked shots. Rupe was named the tournaments best defensive player.
Mike Kelsey added 12 points for the Norse, who made just 32.9 percent of their shots from the field. NKU was 7 of 26 from three-point range.
MASCOT MANIA THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT: NKU will present Mascot Mania this Wednesday night at halftime of the Thomas More game.
The list of mascots includes Twister of the Cincinnati Cyclones, Liberty of the Florence Freedom, Buzz from the Cincinnati Swarm, Mr. Red and Gapper from the Cincinnati Reds, Big Boy from Frischs, Big Ds banana and pumpkin mascots as well as mascots from Kentucky Speedway and B-105.
NKU mascot Hey-U will serve as referee.
GRIFFIN/LIONS STREAK ENDS: Christian Brothers victory on Saturday marked the first time since 1998 that NKU had not captured the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic. Central State University won the tournament that year with an 86-82 victory in the championship game against the Norse.
THREE-POINT MACHINE: NKU enters Wednesday night having attempted 121 three-point shots in its first five games. The Norse have connected on 33.9 percent (41 of 121) from long range.
Mike Kelsey has made 17 of 43 attempts, while Adam Howell and Steve Purdon have both made 10 three-point field goals. Kelsey leads NKU in scoring at 17.8 points per game.
REINHARDT EARNS HONOR: NKU freshman forward Kevin Reinhardt earned All-Tournament honors during the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic. Reinhardt scored a career-high 18 points to key the Norses 88-81 win over Gannon (Pa.) University in the opening round. Reinhardt averages 8.0 ppg and 4.4 rebounds per game.
RUPE ANCHORS THE INSIDE: NKU senior center Jesse Rupe enters Wednesday night averaging 16.4 ppg and a team-leading 8.0 rpg. He also has four blocks and is shooting 49.1 percent from the field.
In addition, Rupe has made 30 of 36 (.833) free throw attempts.
ABOUT THOMAS MORE: The Saints are 1-1 after suffering a 110-94 loss to Wilkes (Pa.) University last Saturday.
Thomas More is led by guard Chris Thompson, who averages 18.5 ppg. Chad Wachs is scoring 17.0 ppg and leads the team in rebounding at 9.5 rpg.
NORSE LOOK TO EXTEND STREAK: NKU leads the all-time series with Thomas More, 26-5, and the Norse own 17 consecutive victories over the Saints. NKU has not lost to Thomas More since the 1980-81 season, when the Saints defeated the Norse by a 61-52 score in Regents Hall.
A YEAR AGO AGAINST TMC: On Nov. 27, 2002, Brenden Stowers scored 15 points and had five steals as NKU defeated Thomas More, 79-58, at the Connor Convocation Center. Bobby St-Preux added 14 points and five rebounds as NKU led by as many as 30 points in the second half before coasting to the victory.
Quentin Smith came off the bench and scored 13 points for NKU, while Jesse Rupe finished with 12 points. Mike Kelsey added 11 points for NKU, which limited Thomas More to 37.3 percent shooting from the field.
NKU built a 46-20 halftime lead by connecting on 53.3 percent of its field goal attempts and limiting Thomas More to 28 percent shooting from the field. The Norse began the second half with a 15-11 spurt and took a 61-31 lead on Smiths layup at the 13:31 mark.
GLVC PLAY BEGINS THIS WEEKEND: NKU will begin Great Lakes Valley Conference play this weekend when the University of Missouri-St. Louis visits Regents Hall at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. The Norse will also play host to Quincy University at 7:45 p.m. next Monday (Dec. 1).