The Norse had the advantage the entire night against the Pumas as it defeated Saint Joseph College of Indiana 85-60 Jan. 27 at Regents Hall, Homecoming night.
NKU jumped out to an early lead as it scored the first 11 points of the game. Saint Joseph had no answer on defense as the deficit for the Pumas increased to as much as 31 points in the second half.
The victory by the Norse improved its record to 14-5 overall and 7-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The win also ensured a share for first place with the University of Indianapolis in the East Division.
Senior Kevin Schappell led NKU with 17 points and shot three of five from the three-point line. The Norse, as a team, hit eight of its 12 three-pointers in the first half as the lead grew to 46-26 at halftime. NKU shot more than 63 percent in the first half, with Schappell contributing 15 of his 17 points.
“That was a big win for us in front of a big crowd,” Schappell said, according to NKU Athletics. “We wanted to get the fans into the game by getting a big lead early. We wanted to get the fans excited so they’ll come back and see us play again.”
Steven Wright set the tempo for Homecoming night, scoring five of the first seven points. He also found his teammates open for shots, as he gave the opposing defense a headache with six assists.
The game was never close for St. Joseph’s as its record fell to 10-8 overall and 5-5 in the GLVC.
“Our guys did a good job defensively on them, because they have several players who can really score,” said NKU Head Coach Dave Bezold. “We kept the pressure on them and we made open shots. That’s how you win games, and this was a huge victory for us in front of a great crowd. I know our players enjoy this kind of atmosphere, and it made it for a fun night.”
Wright contributed 16 points against the Pumas. He also handed out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds for the Norse. Anthony Teague and Mark Hawkins also scored 11 points off the bench for NKU.
Next for the Norse are two road games as it will play Drury University at 9:15 p.m. Feb. 1 and travel to Rockhurst University Feb. 3.
You can listen to all the road games live on the NKU Athletics website, at www.nku.edu/athletics.