Norse head to Findlay for tourney

The Northern Kentucky Men’s Basketball team was selected as the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region of the Division II NCAA Tournament and will see first round action against the No. 6 seed, Lake Superior State (21-8) at’ noon on March 14, at Croy Physical Education Center on the campus of the University of Findlay.
This is just the second NCAA tournament appearance for the Lakers of LSSU and they currently own a 0-1 record up to this point.’ The Lakers have had a solid season posting its sixth 20-win season in school history, while also winning a school record 17 games in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
LSSU has two seniors that have carried the offense this season.’ Senior forward Tim VanOudheusden is the second leading scorer in the GLIAC at 18.1 points per game and senior center Ryan Kuhl averages 13.1 points for the Lakers.’ As a team, LSSU is shooting 47 percent from the floor and 42.7 percent from beyond the arc, according to the Lake Superior State Season Statistics.’ They are ranked in the top five nationally in average three-point field goal percentage.
The Lakers do a solid job of taking care of the basketball.’ They are averaging 11.2 turnovers a game which lifts them into the top five nationally with the fewest turnovers per game.
However, opponents have averaged more blocks and more rebounds per game against the Lakers which could be in favor of the Norse, who are a defensively sound squad.
NKU will enter the first round matchup with three players averaging in’ double figures.’ Sophomore guard Dustin Maguire leads the team in scoring at 15.1 ppg.’ Senior forward Leslie Malone is averaging 12.7 ppg and senior forward DeAaron Williams is averaging 12 ppg.
Defense will be the key factor and the point of emphasis in preparation for this first round showdown for NKU.’ If the Norse can be aggressive on the defensive end of the floor they can hinder those high shot percentages that the Lakers own.’ NKU has a swat machine underneath the basket in Malone who will alter shots with his mere presence.’ The Norse have recorded 112′ blocks this season with Malone claiming 68 of them, according to NKU’s Athletics Web site.’ LSSU has just 54 blocks this season.
Rebounding will also play a large role in the game for the Norse.’ If the defensive execution is successful and holds the Lakers below their season shooting averages, NKU must limit second chance opportunities by owning the boards.’ Defense and rebounding will have to fall hand-in-hand for the Norse to move on to the second round of the tournament.
If the Norse advance to the second round, they will face the winner of the No. 7 seed Kentucky Wesleyan or the No. 2 seed Bellarmine at 5 p.m. on March 15 at Croy Physical Education Center, Findlay Ohio.