Feb. 22, 2000
NKU PLAYS AT SIUE ON THURSDAY
Norse (22-2) own a 14-game winning streak
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University womens basketball team won its 14th consecutive game Saturday night with an 80-49 victory against Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne in Regents Hall. NKU is now 22-2 overall, 17-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
The Norse (ranked No. 4 nationally in the WBCA Division II poll) have clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming GLVC Tournament that begins on March 1 in Roberts Stadium at Evansville, Ind. NKU will play the No. 8 seed, which will likely be either IPFW, Indianapolis or Kentucky Wesleyan, in the first round on March 1.
Sophomore forward Michelle Cottrell became the first sophomore in Norse womens basketball history to reach 1,000 career points during a 100-75 win against Saint Josephs last Thursday night. Cottrell leads NKU in scoring at 17.6 points per game, and she is No. 1 in the GLVC in rebounding at 9.4 rebounds per contest.
Cottrell has made 57 percent of her shots from the field, and she also has 53 steals.
DEFENSIVE GEM: NKU limited IPFW to just 15.4 percent shooting from the field in the second half Saturday night, and the Norse held the Mastodons scoreless for more than nine minutes during one stretch in the second half.
IPFWs Trish Fleming made a jumper with 14:41 remaining in the game to cut the NKU lead to 47-42. The Mastodons did not score again until the 5:35 mark on a layup by Mandy Loveless. Meanwhile, NKU used a 21-0 run to coast to the victory.
TOUGH TO BEAT: NKU has gone 37-3 in its last 40 GLVC regular-season games. The only GLVC teams to beat NKU during the past two years are SIUE, Missouri-St. Louis and Bellarmine. The loss to SIUE was at the Vadalabene Center last season by a 62-61 score. NKU lost to both Missouri-St. Louis (a year ago) and Bellarmine in Regents Hall.
NKUs road record against GLVC opponents during the last two seasons is 18-1, and the Norse have won 17 straight GLVC road games.
GLVC LEADERS: NKU freshman guard/forward Bridget Flanagan leads the GLVC in three-point shooting at 54.8 percent. Norse junior guard Heather Livingstone is No. 2 at 54.6 percent from three-point range.
As a team, NKU leads the GLVC in rebounding margin (+7.3), steals (10.96 spg), scoring margin (+19.5 ppg), scoring defense (59.2 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.373) and three-point shooting percentage (.454).
NCAA II TOURNAMENT PAIRINGS TO BE ANNOUNCED MARCH 5: Pairings for the NCAA Division II womens basketball tournament will be announced at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 5. Six teams from each of the nations eight regions will receive berths to the 48-team field.
At the moment, NKU is ranked No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region poll. The Norse will host the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Tournament if they remain No. 1 in the poll.
ABOUT SIUE: The Cougars are 17-7 overall (12-6 in the GLVC) after pulling out a 56-54 win at Kentucky Wesleyan on Saturday. SIUE is in a four-way tie for second place in the GLVC standings with Bellarmine, Lewis and Missouri-St. Louis.
SIUE is led by junior guard Misi Clark, who averages 21.5 ppg. Clark has made 34 three-point shots this season, and she also averages 6.2 rebounds per game. Clark has also attempted 217 free throws this season.
Junior center Sarah Cook averages 11.2 ppg and 5.6 rebounds, and she leads the team with 36 blocked shots. Senior forward Sarah Sollberger averages 10.5 ppg and has made 30 three-point shots.
THE FIRST TIME AGAINST SIUE: On Jan. 29 in Regents Hall, NKU held off SIUE, 59-56. SIUEs Misi Clark was fouled while attempting a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer, but Clark missed all three free throw attempts to allow NKU to escape with the victory.
Michelle Cottrell led NKU with 16 points and 15 rebounds in that game.
USI UP NEXT: NKU will conclude the regular season with a Saturday night game at Southern Indiana. The Norse own a four-game winning streak against the Lady Eagles, including an 80-51 victory earlier this season. A year ago, NKU defeated USI all three times.