No. 4 Panthers too much for Norse

NKU students showed their support for the 10th-ranked Norse Saturday

Marlon Parmer and Huggy Dye combined for 43 points Saturday as fourth-ranked Kentucky Wesleyan College held off 10th-ranked Northern Kentucky University, 71-68, in Regents Hall.

Dye scored a game-high 22 points as the Panthers – ranked No. 4 nationally in the latest NCAA Division II poll – improved to 21-2 overall, 14-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Kentucky Wesleyan trailed 35-30 at halftime, but the Panthers used a 21-5 run to begin the second half and eventually built a 65-54 lead with 3:30 remaining when Parmer – who scored 18 points in the second half – made two free throws.

NKU, however, used a 9-0 run to slice the deficit to 65-63 on Mike Kelsey’s basket with 1:13 remaining. Kelsey later hit three free throws to bring the Norse within 67-66 with 28 seconds left, but Parmer responded by making a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining in the game.

Brenden Stowers converted a layup with 3.9 seconds left to pull NKU within 69-68, and Dewayne Rogers was fouled with 2.8 seconds remaining. He made both free throws to extend Kentucky Wesleyan’s lead to 71-68.

Jesse Rupe found Stowers with a long inbound pass on the ensuing play, but Stowers missed a 35-foot three-pointer that would have sent the game into overtime.

Stowers scored 14 points and added five assists for NKU, which dropped its second straight home game. The Norse (19-5 overall, 13-4 GLVC) entered this week having won 20 consecutive games in Regents Hall, but an 87-85 overtime loss Thursday to the University of Southern Indiana ended the streak.

The setback on Saturday marked the first time since the 1993-94 season that NKU has been swept on a GLVC homestand. In February of 1994, the Norse dropped consecutive home games against Bellarmine and Kentucky State (which was a member of the GLVC at that time).

Damon Garris finished with 11 points for Kentucky Wesleyan, which leads the all-time series with NKU, 40-18. The Panthers – who have won 11 straight games – also avenged an early-season 74-73 loss to NKU and won for the second straight year in Regents Hall.

Kelsey extended his streak of games scoring in double figures to 16 by finishing with 16 points for the Norse. NKU was ranked No. 3 in this week’s NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region poll, but the Norse will likely drop at least two spots when the ratings are released on Wednesday.

The top eight teams in that poll will advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament in March, with the No. 1 seed hosting the entire regional.

Article by Sports Information