Women win five straight thanks to teamwork

Unfortunately, only one of the two basketball teams made it out of Regents Hall with a win on Homecoming.

In what has become one of the most intense rivalries in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, the Northern Kentucky University women’s team beat counterpart Bellarmine, who traveled 100 miles up I-71, only to fade away in the second half. The Norse led by nearly 20 points late in the game before coasting to a 13-point win.

Over the last two years, the Lady Norse have emphasized one key element of basketball that has lead to their success: Teamwork. All five of the Lady Norse starters scored in double digits. Even Nichole Chiodi, who is really known much more for her on-the-ball defense and passing ability, chipped in with 11 on 5-9 shooting. She also grabbed ten boards, equally impressive, for a point. Enjoy senior Chiodi while she lasts; Though Angela Healy gets a lot of credit and deservedly so, Chiodi has been instrumental in getting this team going.

Healy led the charge with 15, falling two boards short of another double-double. (For the record, she is still NKU’s version of Kansas State’s Michael Beasley.)

It is probably still too early to call last Saturday’s game a must-win. The must-win games come in March, when one missed free throw or one missed assignment or one extra turnover is the difference between a first-round exit and a championship.

But last Saturday was certainly an auspicious start for the Norse to make a run deep into March. And not only did they play smart on offense, shooting at nearly a 50 percent clip, but they minimized taking bad shots. They did turn the ball over a dozen times,which is not outstanding, but certainly respectable, and small enough to win games.

Defensively, the Lady Norse played aggressively. They pulled away by holding Bellarmine to eight field goals in the second half. Holding your opponents to a hair over 25 percent will facilitate any win, regardless of who you play.

We’ll get to see how important home-court advantage is when the Norse return to Bellarmine to finish out the final two weeks of the season. While the win at home was huge, it would be even bigger if they can pull it off at Bellarmine.

A brutal road schedule awaits.

No one said that getting to March would be easy.