March 1, 2004
NKU TO MEET S. INDIANA IN GLVC TOURNEY
Norse (16-14) play USI (22-5) at 9:30 p.m. this Friday
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will meet the University of Southern Indiana at 9:30 p.m. (EST) Friday in the first round of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament in Evansville, Ind.
The Norse enter the GLVC Tournament with a 16-14 overall record and are the No. 7 seed in the event, which will be played in Roberts Stadium. Southern Indiana is the No. 2 seed and owns a 22-5 overall record entering Fridays first round.
The NKU/Southern Indiana winner will meet either Kentucky Wesleyan College (19-7) or Saint Josephs College (15-12) at 9:30 p.m. Saturday night in the GLVC semifinals. The championship game is set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
All NKU games will be broadcast live on the radio on WTSJ (1050 AM).
NKU dropped an 87-66 decision at Kentucky Wesleyan last Saturday in its regular-season finale at Owensboro, Ky. The Norse finished 9-11 in the GLVC and in seventh place.
FREEMAN LEADS PANTHERS PAST NORSE: Eric Freeman scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Saturday as Kentucky Wesleyan posted an 87-66 win over NKU in the Owensboro Sportscenter. Craig Schoen added 18 points and nine assists for Kentucky Wesleyan, which built a 28-9 advantage with 9:51 remaining in the first half.
Jesse Rupe rallied NKU by scoring 15 of his 17 points before halftime as the Norse cut the Kentucky Wesleyan lead to 47-38 at the break. After NKU pulled within 54-48 on a jumper by Kevin Reinhardt with 16:52 left in the game, Kentucky Wesleyan used a 13-6 spurt to build a 67-54 lead.
Rupe countered with a dunk to cut the deficit to 67-56, but Kentucky Wesleyan responded with a 16-0 run to build an 83-56 lead with 6:15 left on the clock and rolled to the victory.
Reinhardt finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for NKU. Mike Kelsey added 12 points for the Norse, who shot 39.4 percent from the field.
GLVC TOURNAMENT HISTORY: NKU is 7-5 all-time in the GLVC Tournament. A year ago, the Norse defeated Wisconsin-Parkside, Southern Indiana and Lewis en route to their first-ever GLVC Tournament championship.
Two years ago, seventh-seeded Wisconsin-Parkside rallied to stun second-seeded NKU, 93-87, in the first round of the GLVC Tournament.
Three years ago, NKU defeated Missouri-St. Louis, 82-72, in the first round. The Norse dropped an 84-67 decision to Kentucky Wesleyan in the semifinals.
Four years ago, NKU defeated IPFW in the first round, 96-65. The Norse lost to Southern Indiana, 100-89, in the GLVC semifinals.
Five years ago, the Norse defeated Indianapolis, 60-48, in the first round of the GLVC Tournament. NKU then lost to Kentucky Wesleyan, 111-70, in the GLVC semifinals.
Six years ago, NKU knocked off Indianapolis, 85-76, in the first round of the GLVC Tournament in Regents Hall. The Norse lost to Southern Indiana, 79-78, in the GLVC semifinals at Owensboro, Ky.
NKU is 1-2 all-time against Southern Indiana in the GLVC Tournament.
EFFECTIVE INSIDE-OUTSIDE COMBINATION: NKU senior center Jesse Rupe enters the GLVC Tournament averaging 15.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Rupe has recorded seven double-doubles and is shooting 52.1 percent from the field, and he leads the team with 37 blocked shots.
Rupe enters the GLVC Tournament with 877 career points, which ranks 29th in Norse history.
NKU junior guard Mike Kelsey is scoring 16.9 ppg and has made 79 three-pointers this season. He is shooting 41.1 percent from three-point range and 80.4 percent from the free throw line.
Kelsey enters the GLVC Tournament with 1,111 career points and is 20th on the NKU all-time scoring list. He has scored in double figures 25 times this season, including a school-record 50 points on Jan. 2 against Indianapolis.
REINHARDT GETS DOUBLE-DOUBLE: NKU freshman forward Kevin Reinhardt recorded his second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Kentucky Wesleyan last Saturday. Reinhardt averages 8.7 ppg and 3.7 rpg. He also has 11 blocked shots and 15 steals.
ABOUT SOUTHERN INDIANA: The Screaming Eagles feature four players who score in double figures, led by senior center John Odens 12.8 ppg. Oden also leads Southern Indiana in field goal percentage at .700.
Junior forward Randy Holbrook averages 10.9 ppg, and senior guard Joe Gordon is scoring 10.6 ppg. Senior forward Billy Harris averages 10.4 ppg and a team-leading 6.9 rpg.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SOUTHERN INDIANA: On Feb. 5 at Evansville, Ind., Cris Brunson scored 14 points and made a key three-pointer with less than a minute remaining in the game as Southern Indiana held off NKU, 74-66, at the PAC Arena.
Southern Indiana owned a 67-64 lead with the shot clock winding down when Brunson drained a three-pointer with 51 seconds remaining. That shot extended the Screaming Eagles advantage to 70-64, and Southern Indiana hit four free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.
NKU rallied from a 53-44 deficit with 9:15 left in the game and pulled within 61-60 on Steve Purdons three-pointer with 3:12 remaining. Billy Harris countered with a basket to extend Southern Indianas lead to 63-60, but Kevin Schappell responded with a layup to bring NKU within 63-62.
Brunson made a pair of free throws with 2:03 left to give Southern Indiana a 65-62 lead, and Harris converted a layup 20 seconds later off a steal to extend the Screaming Eagles' advantage to 67-62. Purdon hit a short jumper to cut the lead to 67-64 with 1:21 remaining, setting the stage for Brunsons clutch three-point shot.
Purdon led NKU with 20 points, and Jesse Rupe added 13 points. Mike Kelsey finished with 11 points for the Norse, but the junior guard suffered a knee injury early in the second half and did not return to the game.
In their first meeting of the season at Highland Heights, Ky., Kelsey scored 24 points and made a key basket late in the game as NKU top-ranked Southern Indiana, 81-80, in Regents Hall.
Southern Indiana had a chance to send the game into overtime with 2.6 seconds remaining after John Oden drew a foul attempting a layup. Oden hit the first free throw to make it 81-80, but after an NKU timeout he missed the second attempt.
NKUs Jared Ronai missed two free throws - the second intentionally - with 1.7 seconds left and Southern Indiana rebounded. Avery Queens halfcourt attempt, however, was off target.
NKU rallied from a 77-73 deficit with 4:43 remaining in the game to take a 78-77 lead when Sean Rowland hit a short jumper with 1:54 left. Kelsey gave the Norse an 80-77 advantage with 1:12 remaining with a driving layup.
After Odens basket cut the deficit to 80-79 with 32 seconds left, NKU was called for a five-second violation and Southern Indiana regained possession underneath its own basket. Joe Gordon missed a leaning jumper, though, and Rowland was fouled with 21 seconds left.
Rowland converted one free throw to give NKU an 81-79 lead. Southern Indiana worked the ball inside to Oden, who was fouled with 2.6 seconds left on the clock.
NCAA PAIRINGS ANNOUNCED SUNDAY NIGHT: Pairings for the NCAA Division II Tournament will be announced at 10:30 p.m. this Sunday night (March 7).