Women’s basketball prepares for push into postseason

Hitting the halfway mark of the 2010-11 basketball season, the Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball team is playing its best basketball of the season. After dropping two out of their first three contest, the Norse have been able to battle back to an overall record of 11-3. With 12 games left on the schedule, the team has high hopes for the remainder of the season.

The NKU women are currently on top of the Great Lakes Valley Conference East Division, with a conference record of 5-1. They are also the hottest team in the East Division, winning 10 out of their last 11 games, having lost only one game since Nov. 20. The Norse are currently fourth overall in the conference, with Missouri S&T and Wisconsin Parkside at 6-0, and Drury 5-0 in conference play. While the GLVC doesn’t have any women’s team ranked in the USA Today Women’s Basketball coaches poll, it does have five schools ranked in the top 50, all receiving votes.

NKU has proved that the Bank of Kentucky Center is a major home court advantage, hitting the halfway point with a perfect 8-0 mark at home. Away from home, however, has not been as kind. The Norse hold a 2-2 mark in true road games and a 1-1 mark in games held at a neutral site.

“We stress for our players to be tough out at home,” said head coach Nancy Winstel.

The Norse have used strong defense to shut down their opponents this season. NKU has only allowed opponents 52.7 points per game, 35.7 field goal percentage, and held opponents to 28.1 percent from three-point range this season. All three marks are tops in the GLVC.

The Norse also have two scores averaging in double figures, led by junior guard Casse Mogan who averages 16.9 points per game. Junior forward Sadie Bowling is the only other scorer averaging double figures, averaging 10.2 points per game. The Norse also have three players who are averaging over five rebounds per game. Senior center Kendra Caldwell leads the way with 7.6 rebounds per game, followed closely by Bowling who averages 6.8 rebounds and Mogan, who chips in 5.4.

“(Mogan and Bowling) are the nuts and bolts of the operation, heart and soul of the team,” Winstel said. “We are coming along and getting better, which is a good sign.”

The Norse have 12 games left in the regular season, with five games left at home and seven on the road, including visits to Wisconsin-Parkside, Missouri S&T and Drury.

John Minor contributed to this story.

Story by Nick Jones