Women’s basketball routes Lewis, eye GLVC championship

The Northern Kentucky University Women’s Basketball team secured the No. 1 seed in the Great Lakes Valley Conference East Division with a 77-56 route of Lewis University.

The No. 2-nationally ranked Norse (25-2, 16-2 GLVC) lit up the nets in Regents Hall and put on an show for the more than 1000-person home crowd, tabbing nearly a 54-percent team shooting percentage and posting four players in double digits.

Senior center Cassie Brannen collected five rebounds for the Norse and led NKU’s offensive strike with 20 points. Senior guard Jessie Slack, who tallied a career best 32 points against Bellarmine two nights earlier, collected five rebounds of her own and contributed 17 points, while shooting a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line in the contest. Slack was named the GLVC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on March 2 for the performances.

Junior forward Brandi Rayburn added 15 points on the night, and’ senior guard Karen Brackman rounded out the group of Norse players in double digits and posted a double-double performance with ten points and ten assists.

The Norse is currently enjoying an eight-game-winning streak, will now travel to compete in the GLVC tournament March 6-8, at Quincy University ‘- the overall No. 1 seed in the GLVC ‘- in Quincy, Ill.

The Norse are set to face Bellarmine (16-11, 8-10 GLVC) in the first round of the tournament, on March 6. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. EST.

The two teams saw each other twice in the regular season ‘- on Jan. 2 and Feb. 26 ‘- and claimed both contests, by scores of 60-53 and 71-54 respectively.

In the last meeting, the NKU dominated Bellarmine in nearly all statistical categories ‘- claiming more rebounds (37-32), dishing out more assists (15-8), and collecting nearly twice as many steals (11-6) and blocks (9-4). The Norse also posted a 46-percent team shooting percentage’ while holding the visiting Knights to 30-percent shooting from the field.

Then again ‘-‘ there was the aforementioned Slack showcase as well, as the Division-I transfer led all scorers with 32 points, and tabbed four steals, three rebounds, and two assists.

Tip-off for the first-round action is scheduled for 1 p.m., with the winner of the match-up moving on to face’ either Drury or Lewis in the semifinals round at 6:15 p.m. on March 6 at Quincy University.