NKU basketball teams struggle over the break

The Northern Kentucky University men’s and women’s basketball teams saw themselves going in the wrong direction during their holiday games as they were both involved in two-game losing streaks during the Christmas break.

For instance, the Norse men’s team lost both games it played in North Carolina. On Dec. 16, NKU lost to Pfeiffer University by a score of 97-87.

Pfeiffer shot 55 percent from the field in the game to help account for the victory. Even with the loss, Norse junior Bobby St.-Preux scored a career high 29 points.

Two days later, NKU lost to Wingate University 81-73. The Norse struggled from the field the whole game, shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from the three-point line.

NKU senior Craig Sanders led the way with 21 points. Also, St.-Preux added 16 points and junior Brenden Stowers came up with 13 points.

The Norse suffered their first two-game losing streak of the year and dropped out of the top 25 in the NCAA Division II poll.

NKU got a little rest before coming back home to play Indiana University-Southeast on Dec. 29. The mini-break seemed to help as the Norse ended their two-game skid, easily winning the contest 94-75.

NKU senior Carl Mitchell scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds in the victory.

St.-Preux also had a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Stowers added 17 points and dished out eight assists. Sanders contributed 18 points for the Norse, who improved to 7-4 on the year.

The NKU women’s team was not as lucky during the break either, even though it started out on a positive note. The Norse hosted their annual Community Recorder Classic at Regents Hall, Dec. 20-21.

In the opening game, NKU beat the University of Alabama-Huntsville 88-52.

Norse freshman Connie Myers had her biggest output of the season, scoring 16 points and coming up with nine rebounds. Also, junior Kristin Polosky scored 15 points and junior Amy Mobley contributed 10 points in the victory.

NKU, who was 8-0 and ranked No. 1 in Division II, advanced to the championship game to face perennial powerhouse Delta State University.

However, despite the hot start, the Norse could not keep up with the likes of Delta State and suffered their worst shooting performance of the season. NKU only shot 25 percent from the field and missed all 14 of their three-pointers in a 64-51 loss.

Despite the loss, Norse senior Michelle Cottrell scored 15 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Polosky added 11 points and 15 rebounds. Both players and Myers were named to the All-Tournament team for their performances.

Also, with her 15 points, Cottrell passed Peggy Vincent (1,883 points) as the NKU women’s basketball all-time leading scorer, ended the game with 1,886 career points.

The Norse had a small break before they headed out on the road to take on another Division II powerhouse in Ferris State University. NKU played a lot better in this game, shooting 35 percent from the field. However, Ferris State hung in there throughout the game and pulled out a 70-65 win.

Cottrell pulled off her 43rd double-double in her college career, scoring 25 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. NKU senior Suzie Smith added 12 points and junior Bridget Flanagan contributed 10 points. It wasn’t enough as the Norse dropped their second straight game in a row, with their record falling to 8-2 on the year.

The NKU men’s and women’s basketball teams now get back to their Great Lakes Valley Conference schedule. The Norse women are a perfect 5-0 in GLVC competition this season and the men are 3-2 in conference play.

After a road trip against Quincy University and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (games which took place this past weekend), the Norse head home for a couple of conference games.