Aug. 2, 2004


Norse face Bellarmine, Indy in early-season GLVC showdowns

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - One glance at the early part of the 2004-05 schedule has to make Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball head coach Nancy Winstel cringe.

“The beginning of our schedule is going to be demanding,” Winstel said, “and I hope we’re ready to play some very good teams, because there is not one break early in the season.”

NKU opens its schedule Nov. 16 against Georgetown (Ky.) College, a perennial NAIA powerhouse which finished 23-11 last season. A week later, the Norse will play host to Central State University, another capable team with a strong tradition.

Then, it really starts to get tough for NKU. The Norse begin Great Lakes Valley Conference play Nov. 26 with a four-game road trip that includes visits to Kentucky Wesleyan College, Bellarmine University, the University of Indianapolis and Saint Joseph’s College.

“That is a difficult way to begin the conference season,” Winstel said of the four-game road trip. “We actually open conference play at Kentucky Wesleyan the day after Thanksgiving, so that’s really different from the past.

“We follow that up with Bellarmine and Indianapolis back-to-back on the road, and both of those teams will be outstanding this season. It’s not going to be easy.”

Bellarmine and Indianapolis earned berths in the NCAA Division II Tournament last season, and both teams are expected to challenge for the GLVC title in 2004-05.

NKU plays host to the fifth annual Community Recorder Classic Dec 20-21. The Norse will meet Shaw (N.C.) University in the first round. Shaw finished with a 28-3 record last season and advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Shaw also won the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship for the second straight year before being upset by Augusta State University in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional Tournament.

Glenville State (W. Va.) College (29-4 record last season) will take on Fort Valley (Ga.) State University (24-7 record in 2003-04) in the other first-round game of the Community Recorder Classic.

“This is the strongest field we have ever had in the Community Recorder Classic,” Winstel said.

NKU will square off against defending GLVC champion and NCAA Division II Elite participant Quincy University on Jan. 29 at Quincy, Ill. The two teams will meet in the rematch Feb. 24 in Regents Hall.

Quincy defeated NKU three times last season, including a 51-49 victory over the Norse during the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament at Quincy, Ill.

NKU finished with a 17-11 record last season and advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the sixth consecutive year. NKU returns three starters and eight letterwinners, including top scorer Connie Myers (14.4 points per game).

A senior forward, Myers also averaged 7.3 rebounds per game and shot 46.4 percent from the field.

Senior guard Nikki Perkins averaged 9.6 ppg and made a team-leading 49 three-point field goals last season. Senior point guard Elizabeth Burrows led NKU with 120 assists and returns to the lineup in 2004-05.

Sophomores Karmen Graham (6.5 ppg) and Karyn Creager (6.5 ppg) are also expected to be key performers this season.


Elizabeth Burrows