March 14, 2000
NKU SHOOTS FOR 1ST NATIONAL TITLE
Norse prepare for unbeaten St. Rose (34-0) at Pine Bluff, Ark.
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University womens basketball team will face the nations top-ranked NCAA Division II squad, the College of St. Rose (N.Y.), in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Elite Eight at Pine Bluff, Ark., on March 22 at 9:30 p.m. (EST).
ABOUT NKU: NKU enters the NCAA Division II Elite Eight with a 29-2 record. NKU won both the Great Lakes Valley Conference regular-season and tournament championships, and the Norse captured the Great Lakes Region title on March 11 with a 77-70 victory over Northern Michigan University.
NKU has won 21 consecutive games entering the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, and the Norse have not lost since Jan. 8 (a 76-72 loss to Bellarmine). NKU is ranked No. 2 nationally in the WBCA Division II poll.
DEJA VU?: A year ago, NKU won 22 consecutive games en route to the NCAA Division II Final Four. The Norse enter the NCAA Division II Elite Eight with 21 straight victories, which is four short of the school record (25 consecutive wins during the 1975-76 season).
If the Norse defeat the College of St. Rose on March 22, it would once again land them in the NCAA Division II Final Four with 22 consecutive victories. NKU lost in the Final Four last season to Arkansas Tech by a 62-57 score.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: NKU owns an 8-10 all-time record in the NCAA Division II Tournament. A year ago, NKU advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four for the second time in school history. NKU also made the Final Four during the 1986-87 season before losing to New Haven (Conn.), 77-74, in overtime.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Sophomore forward Michelle Cottrell enters the Elite Eight with 11 double-doubles this season, and she has 25 double-doubles in her career. Cottrell has scored in double figures in 29 of the teams 31 games this season. She leads NKU in scoring (17.4 points per game), rebounding (9.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (.581). Cottrell was also named GLVC co-Player of the Year this season.
COTTRELL TIME: NKUs Michelle Cottrell earned most outstanding player honors at the Great Lakes Region Tournament by scoring 46 points and grabbing 24 rebounds in the two wins. Cottrells best performance came against Michigan Tech during NKUs 60-59 victory on March 10. In that game, Cottrell scored 29 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and she scored the game-winning basket with six seconds remaining after grabbing an offensive rebound.
COTTRELL NAMED ALL-REGION: NKUs Michelle Cottrell has been named first team Daktronics All-Great Lakes Region.
GLVC TOURNAMENT MVP: Junior guard Michele Tuchfarber was named the most valuable player of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament on March 4 after scoring 21 points in the championship game against Indianapolis.
Tuchfarber averages 13.3 points per game and 4.1 rebounds for the season. Tuchfarber also earned All-Tournament honors at the Great Lakes Region Tournament on March 11.
SHOWDOWN IN PINE BLUFF: The nations two top-ranked teams will meet on March 22 in the first round of the NCAA Division II Elite Eight when unbeaten and No. 1-ranked College of St. Rose (34-0) faces No. 2 NKU. The two schools have never met in womens basketball, and they have no common opponents this season.
ABOUT ST. ROSE: The Golden Knights own a 34-0 record and are beating their opponents by an average of 30 points per game. St. Rose is led by sophomore forward Ngalula Nana Lukengu, who averages 15.6 ppg and 6.6 rebounds. Lukengu also shoots 53.4 percent from the field, and she has 37 blocked shots.
Senior guard Colleen Sheridan averages 13.7 ppg, and she leads St. Rose in three-point shooting 89 of 197, 45.2 percent). Sheridan also has 149 assists. Junior center Mbuyi Mukendi averages 10.2 ppg and 7.8 rebounds, and she leads the team with 48 blocked shots. Senior guard Nicole LaRocque is scoring 12.6 ppg and has made 35 three-pointers.
BOMBS AWAY: NKU features the GLVCs top two three-point shooters in freshman forward/guard Bridget Flanagan and junior guard Heather Livingstone. Flanagan has made 38 of 70 (.543) three-point attempts, while Livingstone is 59 of 118 (.500) from three-point range.
CAREER SCORING UPDATE: Junior guard Michele Tuchfarber enters the Elite Eight with 1,189 career points, which is No. 12 on the NKU all-time scoring list. Sophomore forward Michelle Cottrell enters the Elite Eight with 1,137 career points, which ranks No. 13 in NKU history.
ABOUT COACH WINSTEL: NKU head coach Nancy Winstel earned GLVC Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season and the fifth time in her career. Winstel is now 359-120 in 17 years at NKU. She has led the Norse to 10 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, and her teams have twice advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four. Last season, Winstel was also named National Coach of the Year by Division II Bulletin.
NKU ALL-TIME AGAINST THE ELITE EIGHT FIELD: NKU is 0-1 against North Dakota State...1-0 against Slippery Rock...1-1 against Delta State...NKU has never played St. Rose, Emporia State, Columbus State or Western Washington in womens basketball.
GREAT LAKES REGION ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: The NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region All-Tournament Team consisted of Allison Bailey of Michigan Tech; Sara Mauck of Missouri-St. Louis; Sasha Leverentz and Jill Gobert of Northern Michigan; Michele Tuchfarber and Michelle Cottrell of NKU.
THE NKU LOWDOWN: This season, NKU is:
12-0 when scoring 80 points or more.
3-1 when trailing at halftime (the only loss was to Florida Southern, 76-59, on Dec. 28).
26-1 when leading at halftime (the only loss was to Bellarmine, 76-72, on Jan. 8).
11-1 on the road.
15-1 at home.
3-0 on neutral courts.
For Elite Eight pairings, click here