Feb. 24, 2004

NKU MEETS BELLARMINE IN GLVC SHOWDOWN

Norse face tough road game this Thursday at 5:45 p.m.

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball team will close out the regular season this week with a pair of road games, beginning with a 5:45 p.m. Thursday contest at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky.

The Norse will conclude the two-game road trip with a 2:15 p.m. Saturday contest at Kentucky Wesleyan College. NKU will then participate in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament March 4-7 at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Ind.

NKU is 16-8 overall after dropping a 50-49 decision at the University of Indianapolis last Saturday. The Norse are 11-7 in the GLVC and tied for fifth place in the league standings with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

LAST-SECOND SETBACK AT INDY: Sara Strahm made a free throw with 10.7 seconds remaining in the game to snap a 49-49 tie as Indianapolis held off NKU, 50-49, Saturday night at Nicoson Hall. After Strahm’s free throw gave Indianapolis a 50-49 lead, NKU’s Jessica Brock hurried the ball up the floor and attempted a 10-foot leaning jumper from the right side of the lane.

The shot missed, however, Indianapolis controlled the rebound and time expired.

Strahm finished with 12 points as Indianapolis improved to 19-6 overall, 13-5 in the GLVC. Amy Wisser also added 12 points for the Greyhounds, who rallied from a three-point deficit in the final minute of play.

Indianapolis built an 11-point lead (38-27) midway through the second half, but NKU used a 19-6 run to take a 46-44 advantage when Nikki Perkins hit a jumper with 2:48 remaining in the game. The Norse still held a 49-46 lead with 1:50 left on the clock after Karmen Graham made a short jump shot in the lane.

Strahm converted two free throws with 31 seconds remaining to cut NKU’s lead to 49-48. After an NKU turnover, Amanda Norris was fouled with 12 seconds left and she made the first free throw to tie the game at 49-49. She missed the second attempt, but Strahm grabbed the offensive rebound, drew a foul with 10.7 seconds remaining and made 1-of-2 free throws to give Indianapolis the victory.

Connie Myers led NKU with 14 points, while Graham added nine points. The Norse, however, made just 7-of-17 free throws and lost the rebounding battle by a 36-29 margin.

GRAHAM CONTINUES SOLID PLAY: NKU freshman center Karmen Graham has averaged 10 points and 6.0 rebounds during the past four games. Graham is scoring 6.5 ppg for the season, and she has connected on 10-of-14 (.714) three-point attempts.

ABOUT BELLARMINE: The Knights own an 18-7 overall record, and Bellarmine is in second place in the GLVC standings with a 14-5 mark.

Bellarmine features senior center Shanta Bowens, who averages 15.3 ppg and 8.2 rebounds. Bowens is also shooting 58.2 percent from the field. Junior forward Lynne Johnson is scoring 14.7 ppg, and junior forward Lyndsey Neal averages 14.2 ppg and 7.9 rpg.

THE LAST TIME AGAINST BELLARMINE: Earlier this season on Jan. 31, Sharell Snardon’s basket with 1.2 seconds remaining in the game gave NKU a 63-62 victory over Bellarmine in Regents Hall. Bellarmine took a 62-61 lead with 6.6 seconds left when Kellie Peyton made a 12-foot jumper.

After a timeout, NKU’s Nikki Perkins received the inbound pass, and she spotted Connie Myers streaking down the right sideline. Myers passed ahead to an open Snardon, who beat her defender, dribbled in and converted a layup with 1.2 seconds left on the clock.

Bellarmine’s Princess Wimsatt threw up a desperation 50-footer at the buzzer, but the shot was short and NKU escaped with the victory.

Snardon and Myers each scored 17 points to lead NKU, which rallied from a 13-point deficit in the first half. The Norse shot 53.8 percent from the field in the second half to rally for the win.

Elizabeth Burrows added 10 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for NKU. Lyndsey Neal led Bellarmine with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Karmen Graham