March 12, 2004

NKU NEARLY PULLS UPSET OVER QUINCY, 51-49

VonderHaar leads Hawks with 18 points in the win

QUINCY, Ill. - Courtney VonderHaar and Jessica Stuckman combined for 31 points Friday as top-seeded Quincy University rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half to defeat Northern Kentucky University, 51-49, in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.

After Jessica Brock's basket with 18 seconds remaining cut Quincy's lead to 50-49, NKU immediately fouled Lindsay Anderson. She converted one of two free throws with 16 seconds left to extend Quincy's advantage to 51-49, and NKU had a final chance to tie or win the game.

NKU's Nikki Perkins attempted a three-pointer with two seconds left on the clock, but the shot was short and Quincy ended the Norse's two-year reign as Great Lakes Region champion.

“I thought we had chances, and we played very tough,” NKU head coach Nancy Winstel said. “We had everything to gain in this game, but give Quincy credit for coming through with some clutch plays.”

NKU (17-11) built a 30-19 lead early in the second half when Perkins hit a short jumper. The eighth-seeded Norse still owned a 42-35 advantage with 10:05 remaining in the game, but Quincy used a 11-2 run to take a 46-44 lead with 4:34 left when Stuckman converted a pair of free throws.

Elizabeth Burrows hit a three-pointer with 4:14 remaining to give NKU a 47-46 lead, but Stuckman responded by making two free throws with 2:58 remaining for a 48-47 Quincy advantage. 

VonderHarr hit a short jumper with 1:50 left on the clock to extend the Quincy lead to 50-47. VonderHaar used 8-of-12 shooting from the field to score 18 points. Stuckman finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

“We found a way to win, and we are happy to be playing tomorrow,” Quincy head coach Larry Just said. “The fans coming out helped us, especially when it was close. You better believe our kids heard the crowd.”

Perkins led NKU with 13 points, and Connie Myers added 12 points and eight rebounds. The Norse shot 40.4 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers.

Quincy (27-4) made 39.6 percent of its shots from the field and defeated NKU for the third time this season. The Lady Hawks also converted 12-of-15 free throws in the second half.

“It was a closer game than we thought it would be,” Stuckman said. “It was a dog fight.”

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Emily Phillips