March 4, 2002

NKU TO MEET N. MICHIGAN IN NCAAs

Norse (23-6) face Wildcats (20-8) this Thursday night

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball team is 23-6 after suffering an 89-79 loss to the University of Southern Indiana last Saturday in the championship game of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.

NKU enters the NCAA II Great Lakes Region Tournament as the No. 3 seed and will meet No. 6 seed Northern Michigan University at 9 p.m. this Thursday night in the first round.

If NKU defeats Northern Michigan, the Norse will face No. 2 seed Lake Superior State University (21-5) at 9 p.m. Friday night. The championship game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Southern Indiana (26-5) is the No. 1 seed and the host for the NCAA II Great Lakes Region Tournament. The Eagles will meet the winner of fourth-seeded Hillsdale (Mich.) College (22-7) and fifth-seeded Gannon (Pa.) University (20-7) at 7 p.m. Friday.

All NKU games will be broadcast on WTSJ (1050 AM).

GLVC TOURNAMENT RECAP: NKU posted wins against Saint Joseph’s College (99-84) and Bellarmine University (92-88 in overtime) before dropping an 89-79 decision to Southern Indiana in the championship game.

In the victory against Bellarmine, NKU rallied from an 18-point deficit in the first half. The Norse still trailed by 10 points in the final 5:24, but NKU used a 14-4 run in the last five minutes to force overtime. Suzie Smith’s layup in the closing seconds gave NKU a 90-88 lead, and she later sealed the win by making two free throws.

In the championship game, NKU built a 39-29 lead midway through the first half. Southern Indiana, however, closed the half with a 19-3 run that was capped by Jasmine Moore’s three-point shot at the buzzer.

Moore and GLVC Tournament most valuable player Jessica Stuckman both scored 22 points to lead Southern Indiana. It was the second consecutive year that Southern Indiana defeated NKU in the GLVC Tournament championship game.

COTTRELL, SMITH EARN ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: NKU seniors Michelle Cottrell and Suzie Smith both earned All-Tournament honors at the GLVC Tournament last week. Cottrell averaged 23.3 points in the GLVC Tournament, while Smith averaged 13.4 ppg.

Cottrell enters the NCAA Tournament averaging 19.0 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, and she ranks No. 2 in the GLVC in both categories. She is also NKU’s all-time career scoring leader with 2,148 points.

Cottrell has 48 career double-doubles, including 12 this season. She is shooting 61.1 percent from the field and 76.6 percent from the free throw line.

FLANAGAN FROM LONG RANGE: NKU junior guard Bridget Flanagan leads the GLVC in three-pointers made per game at 2.48. She has made 72 of 183 three-point attempts this season. Her 39.3 percent from three-point range ranks No. 4 in the GLVC. Flanagan led NKU with 20 points in the loss against Southern Indiana last Saturday in the GLVC Tournament championship game.

POLOSKY HAS SOLID TOURNAMENT: NKU junior forward Kristin Polosky averaged 11.3 ppg at the GLVC Tournament last week. For the season, Polosky is scoring 10.0 ppg and averages 5.5 rebounds per contest.

ABOUT NORTHERN MICHIGAN: The Wildcats, members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, are 20-8 entering the NCAA Tournament. Northern Michigan advanced to the semifinals of the GLIAC Tournament last week before losing to Hillsdale, 60-57.

Northern Michigan features senior guard Marisa DellAngelo, who leads the GLIAC in scoring at 21.1 ppg. DellAngelo has made 75 three-point shots and connected on 88.7 percent of her free throws. Junior forward Elena Keranen averages 11.6 ppg and 6.5 rebounds per contest.

Senior guard Leigh Ann Dalton is scoring 10.9 ppg and has made 63 three-point shots, and senior center Kelly Simcik is scoring 11.1 ppg.

THE LAST TIME AGAINST NORTHERN MICHIGAN: On March 11, 2000, Michele Tuchfarber scored 22 points as NKU defeated Northern Michigan, 77-70, in the championship game of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Tournament in Regents Hall.

Michelle Cottrell added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Norse, who won their 21st consecutive game and improved to 29-2. Cottrell was also named the tournament's most outstanding player as NKU rallied from a 12-point deficit in the first half.

Tuchfarber scored 17 of her 22 points in the second half for the Norse. She also made all 10 of her free throw attempts.

NKU AGAINST THE NCAA FIELD: NKU owns a 1-3 record against teams in the NCAA Tournament. NKU is 1-2 against Southern Indiana, and the Norse are 0-1 against Delta State.

NKU AGAINST THE GLIAC THIS SEASON: NKU played just one GLIAC team this season, and the Norse dropped a 70-65 decision to Ferris State University on Dec. 29 at Big Rapids, Mich.

A YEAR AGO IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: On March 9, 2001, Kristin Roseberry scored 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as Gannon (Pa.) upset NKU, 73-64, in the first round of the NCAA II Great Lakes Regional at Houghton, Mich. NKU shot just 33.3 percent from the field and lost the rebounding battle by a 45-34 margin in that game.

CLICK HERE FOR NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET