Feb. 9, 2004
NKU CLOSES OUT HOME SEASON THIS WEEK
Shields to make final Regents Hall appearance this Saturday
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will wrap up its home season this weekend, beginning with a 7:45 p.m. Thursday contest against Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in Regents Hall.
The Norse will conclude their 2003-04 home season at 4:30 p.m. Saturday when Lewis University visits Regents Hall. That game will also mark the final appearance in Regents Hall for Norse head coach Ken Shields, who is retiring at the end of the season.
NKU is currently 14-10 overall, 7-7 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Norse are in sixth place in the GLVC standings.
LONG DAY IN MISSOURI: Ronnie Banks and Jonathan Griffin combined for 31 points Saturday to lead Missouri-St. Louis past NKU. Banks finished with 17 points and seven assists as Missouri-St. Louis won its third straight game. Griffin added 14 points and six assists for the Rivermen, who built a 44-29 halftime lead and coasted to the victory.
Jesse Rupe scored 20 points to lead NKU, which shot just 32.4 percent from the field. The Norse played without leading scorer Mike Kelsey, who missed the game due to a knee injury.
RUPE REMAINS ON A ROLL: NKU senior center Jesse Rupe has scored in double figures six straight games entering Thursday night. The 6-foot-10 post player averages 15.1 points per game and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per contest.
Rupe has scored at least 20 points six times this season and reached double figures 20 times in 2003-04.
SHIELDS SAYS REGENTS HALL FAREWELL ON SATURDAY: Ken Shields, who has been the NKU head coach the past 16 years, will make his final appearance in Regents Hall on Saturday.
Shields enters this weekend with a 304-165 record with the Norse, and he is the all-time winningest mens basketball coach in NKU history. His record in Regents Hall during the past 16 seasons is 171-53 (.763).
During the past 10 years, NKU owns a 122-15 record at home. The Norse also posted unbeaten home seasons in 1994-95 (13-0) and 1999-2000 (14-0).
Shields picked up his first win in Regents Hall on Nov. 18, 1988, when NKU defeated Judson (Ill.) College, 94-66. That was also Shields debut as the NKU head coach.
NKU enters Saturdays home finale against Lewis having won 10 straight games against the Flyers in Regents Hall. Lewis has not defeated NKU in Regents Hall since Feb. 11, 1993, when the Flyers pulled out a 97-88 victory over the Norse.
NKU owns nine consecutive wins against SIUE in Regents Hall. The Cougars have not defeated the Norse in Regents Hall since Feb. 25, 1989, when SIUE posted an 84-81 win over NKU.
ABOUT SIUE: The Cougars are 12-9 overall, 8-7 in the GLVC. SIUE features four players who score in double figures.
Junior guard Tyler Hackstadt averages a team-leading 12.6 ppg for SIUE, and senior guard Ron Jones is scoring 12.1 ppg. Jones has made 42-of-97 three-point attempts.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SIUE: Earlier this season on Jan. 17, Ron Jones scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half to lead SIUE to an 81-75 victory over NKU at the Vadalabene Center in Edwardsville, Ill.
Calvin Sykes added 18 points, seven rebounds and dished out six assists for the Cougars. Dan Heimos finished with eight points and seven rebounds for SIUE.
NKU owned 15 straight wins against SIUE before that loss.
SIUE shot 50 percent from the field in the first half on 13-of-26 shooting to go into the break with a 38-25 advantage. NKU was held to 27.6 percent shooting in the first half.
Jesse Rupe scored 11 points before the break for the Norse, who trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half. Rupe led NKU with 25 points and nine rebounds. Mike Kelsey scored 10 points for the Norse.