Norse win close after blowing huge lead

Jan. 6, Northern Kentucky University Men’s Basketball team cruised into half time with a 17-point lead and went on to win 72-66, despite Lewis University fighting to defend its home court with pride.

The Norse had a 42-25 lead going into half time and it looked to be an easy win for NKU. Lewis came out strong and tightened the gap at 62-60 with just three minutes left in the second half. With nine points from senior guard Anthony Teague and eight from senior center James Cripe off the bench, the lead widened to an eventual win for the Norse.

NKU’s leading scorer, senior guard Steven Wright, came into the game averaging about 17 points a game, but struggled from the field, scoring only four points. His teammates made up for his lack of scoring, showing senior leadership.

“Steve only had the four points, but Kevin stepped up and hit some big shots, and that was important for us,” said Coach Dave Bezold, according to the NKU’s athletics Web site.

NKU senior guard Kevin Schappell scored 23 points, making eight of 10 shooting from the field. The win by NKU gives them a record of 2-3 in Great Lakes Valley Conference and an overall record of 8-4, while Lewis falls to 8-6 overall and 3-3 in GLVC. NKU is tied for fifth place in the East Division with Bellarmine University.

Stephan Bolt, a junior forward and Lewis’s best player, had an excellent game contributing a double-double, with 22 points and 18 rebounds.

Lewis shot below 40 percent from the field for the game, which hurt in the close game, and NKU shooting about 50 percent from the free throw line didn’t help their cause either.

The next game for the Norse will be 7 p.m., Jan. 9, against Kentucky Christian University in Regents Hall.