Jan. 9, 2004
NORSE TO MEET NO. 1 SOUTHERN INDIANA
NKU (10-6, 3-3 GLVC) prepare for talented Screaming Eagles
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will play host to the University of Southern Indiana at 3:15 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Regents Hall.
Southern Indiana is ranked No. 1 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll and owns a 12-2 record after dropping an 88-87 decision at the University of Indianapolis on Thursday. The Screaming Eagles are 5-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
NKU is 10-6 overall after suffering a 67-66 loss to Kentucky Wesleyan College on Thursday in Regents Hall. The Norse are 3-3 in the GLVC.
FREEMANS THREE-POINTER SINKS NKU: Eric Freemans three-pointer with 9.4 seconds remaining in the game lifted Kentucky Wesleyan a 67-66 win over NKU on Thursday.
NKU had taken a 66-64 lead with 20 seconds remaining when Jared Ronai made a pair of free throws. Freeman, however, answered for Kentucky Wesleyan by sinking a 23-footer to give the Panthers a 67-66 advantage with 9.4 seconds left on the clock.
On NKUs final possession, Mike Kelsey drove and launched a running, 12-foot jumper in the lane that bounced in with 0.8 seconds left. Kelsey, however, was called for traveling before the shot and the basket was waved off.
Kentucky Wesleyan built a 39-26 halftime lead by holding NKU to 41.7 percent from the field, including just 1-for-11 shooting from three-point range. The Panthers opened the second half by making four consecutive three-point shots and built a 53-34 lead with 16:02 left.
Kentucky Wesleyan led by 22 points (60-38) with 13:49 left, but NKU responded with a 26-3 run and took a 64-63 lead on Ronais layup with 1:40 remaining.
KELSEY NEARS 1,000 CAREER POINTS: NKU junior guard Mike Kelsey enters Saturdays game with 948 career points and is 27th on the Norse's all-time scoring list. He has scored in double figures in 15 of NKU's 16 games this season.
Kelsey averages 18.3 points per game and is NKUs leading scorer. On Jan. 2 against the University of Indianapolis, Kelsey poured in a school-record 50 points.
NORSE LOOK TO STOP STREAK: NKU has lost two straight home games going into Saturday. NKU must defeat Southern Indiana to avoid losing three straight home games for the first time since the 1993-94 season, when the Norse dropped consecutive contests in Regents Hall against Bellarmine (73-72), Kentucky State (109-86) and Indianapolis (92-90).
ABOUT SOUTHERN INDIANA: The Screaming Eagles feature senior center John Oden, who averages 15.0 ppg and 7.1 rebounds per contest. Oden is also shooting 68.7 percent from the field.
Senior guard Joe Gordon is scoring 12.6 ppg and has made a team-leading 31 three-point shots. Junior forward Randy Holbrook averages 12.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SOUTHERN INDIANA: On March 7, 2003, in the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament in Evansville, Ind., Jordan Stowers conventional three-point play with 33 seconds remaining in the game lifted NKU to an 84-82 win against Southern Indiana.
With the score tied at 81-81 and the shot clock winding down, Stowers drove into the lane and hit an off-balance jumper while being fouled. He converted the free throw to give NKU an 84-81 lead.
Southern Indianas Clarence Chillers hit the first of two free throws with two seconds left to cut the lead to 84-82, but he missed the second and Brenden Stowers grabbed the rebound. He was fouled with 0.4 seconds left and missed both free throws, but time expired after his second attempt.
Brenden Stowers led NKU with 23 points, and Mike Kelsey added 18 points. NKU, which lost twice to the Screaming Eagles during the regular season, shot 52.6 percent from the field. Quentin Smith added 11 points and nine rebounds for NKU, and Bobby St-Preux finished with 10 points.
THE LAST TIME IN REGENTS HALL: On Feb. 13, 2003, Cris Brunsons 10-foot jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime gave Southern Indiana an 87-85 victory over NKU, snapping the Norses 20-game home win streak.
NKU held a 77-74 lead with 12.5 seconds left in the game, but the Norse's Adam Howell missed two free throws to give Southern Indiana a final chance to tie. David Ragland then made a 25-foot three-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
Mike Kelsey made a three-pointer in the closing seconds of overtime to tie the game at 85-85, but Brunson then ran the clock down, drove the lane and hit a leaning jumper to give Southern Indiana the victory.