Feb. 11, 2004

NKU CLOSES OUT HOME SEASON THIS WEEK

Norse prepare for SIUE this Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball team will play host to Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Regents Hall.

The Norse will close out the 2003-04 home season at 1 p.m. Saturday when Lewis University visits Regents Hall.

NKU is 13-7 overall after dropping a 59-57 decision at the University of Missouri-St. Louis last Saturday. The Norse, who have lost two straight games, are 8-6 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and in sixth place in the league standings.

Kali Birkey hit a 10-foot jumper with 4.3 seconds remaining in the game Saturday to give Missouri-St. Louis the victory over NKU. The Norse’s Connie Myers had tied the game at 57-57 with 18.8 seconds remaining when she grabbed an offensive rebound and powered in a layup.

After a timeout, Missouri-St. Louis held the ball for the final shot, and Deborah Dibella worked the ball inside to Birkey on the right side of the lane. Birkey banked in a 10-footer to give the Riverwomen a 59-57 lead with just 4.3 seconds on the clock.

NKU hurried the ball down the court, but Nikki Perkins' desperation attempt was off target and Missouri-St. Louis collected just its second win in 14 meetings with the Norse.

Birkey finished with 16 points for Missouri-St. Louis, and Crystal Lambert led the Riverwomen with 18 points.

NKU held an eight-point lead three times in the second half, but Missouri-St. Louis used a 9-0 run to take a 41-40 advantage with 13:33 remaining when Lambert drained a jumper. Elizabeth Burrows hit a three-pointer to give NKU a 43-41 lead with 13:17 left in the game, and the Norse eventually took a 50-46 advantage when Karyn Creager finished off a conventional three-point play with 8:43 on the clock.

BROCK HAS BIG GAME OFF THE BENCH: NKU senior forward Jessica Brock came off the bench Saturday and led the Norse with 15 points. Brock also grabbed eight rebounds in that game. For the season, Brock averages 7.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

SNARDON LEADS GLVC IN REBOUNDING: NKU sophomore post player Sharell Snardon leads the GLVC in rebounding at 9.1 boards per contest. She also ranks No. 2 in the GLVC in field goal percentage (.592) and No. 8 in scoring (15.1 ppg).

TRYING TO STOP THE STREAK: NKU enters Thursday’s contest against SIUE with a two-game losing streak. The Norse have not lost three straight games since the 1996-97 season, when NKU suffered consecutive defeats to IPFW, Southern Indiana and SIUE.

ABOUT SIUE: The Cougars own a 10-12 overall record. SIUE is 5-10 in the GLVC and in eighth place in the league standings. SIUE is led by Jessica Robert, who averages 14.8 ppg. Robert has also made 39 three-pointers this season.

THE LAST TIME AGAINST SIUE: Earlier this season on Jan. 17, Connie Myers scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds as NKU posted a 74-59 win over SIUE in the Vadalabene Center at Edwardsville, Ill.

Myers scored 17 points in the first half as NKU built a 34-27 lead at the break. She finished 10-for-13 from the field and also added two assists before fouling out late in the game.

Elizabeth Burrows finished with 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds for NKU. Karmen Graham added 11 points and five rebounds for NKU, which shot 53.7 percent from the field. Jessica Brock finished with nine points and nine rebounds for the Norse, who won the battle of the boards by a 39-25 margin.

LEWIS IN HOME FINALE: NKU will play Lewis this Saturday in the home finale. The Flyers are currently 13-8 overall, 10-4 in the GLVC. Lewis is in second place in the GLVC standings.

Earlier this season on Dec. 4 at Romeoville, Ill., Lewis handed NKU an 87-74 loss. The Norse lead the all-time series with Lewis by a 33-4 margin.

Jessica Brock