The Northern Kentucky University Women’s Basketball Team has proven that it doesn’t matter how you start; it matters how you finish.
The Lady Norse, who were standing on shaky ground at the turn of the new year, have righted the ship and already qualified for a berth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.
The season looked bleak for the Lady Norse team, who in the first week of the 2007, had an overall record of 7-5 and had lost four of the first five games in conference play.
Now, NKU stands just three games behind Lewis University for first place in the GLVC East Division.
Despite the brutally cold weather, there is no hotter team in Division II.
The Lady Norse won 11 straight, and it re-entered the NCAA’s Division II Top 25 poll after crushing Kentucky Wesleyan College Feb. 15, 76-45.
NKU led by only six at halftime before cruising to an easy win at Regents Hall.
The Norse has never lost to KWC in Regents Hall, and now has a 46-4 all-time record against Wesleyan.
The Norse have used a balanced scoring attack, a suffocating defense and excellent free throw shooting throughout the season to get back on track.
In the game against KWC, the Lady Norse held the Wildcats to a 17.9 percent field goal percentage and allowed them to shoot just 1-for-13 from behind the three-point line.
The Norse also dominated on the glass, out-rebounding the Lady Cats, 52-32.
Despite the Lady Norse’s lack of a superstar-caliber player scoring wise, NKU has used a balanced attack on the offensive end.
Senior forward Brittany Winner leads the team in scoring at 11.9 points per game, followed by senior guard Karyn Creager and former Highlands High School star Angela Healy, who both average 10.3 points a game.
The Lady Norse is allowing its opponents to shoot 36 percent from the field and 27 percent from beyond the arc. NKU also has a plus-15 scoring margin overall against its opponents.
Should a game become a free-throw shooting contest down the stretch of the regular season and into the postseason, Norse fans shouldn’t worry.
The team is shooting nearly 80 percent at the free throw line, led by Karyn Creager, who is shooting at a 90 percent clip and has only missed eight attempts all season.
The Norse took on Bellarmine University Feb. 19, which marked the final game for the team’s five seniors: Brittany Winner, Betsey Clark, Karmen Graham, Katie Butler and Karyn Creager.
NKU had an impressive victory to say farewell to its seniors, as the Norse defeated the Knights 76-64.