Season closes with hard-fought battle

The Northern Kentucky University Norse basketball closed out the regular season this past Saturday, with a 66-60 win over the University of Indianapolis.

The Norse (20-7, 13-6 in Great Lakes Valley Conference) were led by seniors Kevin Schappell, and Steven Wright, who combined for 29 points. Schappell scored 13 of his team high 15 points in the second half, while Wright finished with 14 points, and nine rebounds.

In the first half, NKU’s defense helped propel it to a 10-point halftime lead, in which it held Indianapolis to just 26.7 percent shooting from the floor, in the first half.

“I wish we were up by a few more points at halftime,” said Head Coach Dave Bezold. “But we missed a rebound and made a turnover, and Indianapolis took advantage of it.”

Although NKU did not trail in the game since the opening minute where it was down 2-0, Indianapolis seemed to have every opportunity to close the gap late in the game as the Norse struggled to seal the second half, going the last 5:19 without a field goal.

The Norse defense was too much for the Greyhounds however, who were held to just 35 percent shooting. NKU also held UI leading scorer, DeAndre Brock, to just eight points on 3-13 from the floor. Brock entered the game averaging 16.7 points per game.

Also with key roles in the victory were guards Vincent Humphrey, who was the third Norse scoring in double figures with 12, and Billy Finnell, who played a game high 40 minutes and dished out 7 assists.

The Greyhounds (13-13, 9-10 in GLVC) were led by Justin Barnard, who had a game-high 19 points, and Braxton Mills who scored 11 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.

The win marks the Norse’s first 20-win season since the 2002-03 season. That team also went on to capture the GLVC tournament championship, which starts this weekend.

NKU heads into the conference tournament on the right foot after bouncing back from a loss at Saint Joseph’s College just two days prior.

The Norse won six of their last seven games, and is the No. 1 seed out of the GLVC East. They will face the No. 4 seed Rockhurst (17-10) March 1 at noon at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Ind.