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NKU women end strong season with loss in WBI

NKU+forward+Kaitlyn+Gerrety+shoots+the+ball+while+being+defended+by+two+Marshall+defenders.+NKU+lost+to+Marshall+81-79+in+the+first+round+of+the+WBI+at+The+Bank+of+Kentucky+Center+on+Thursday%2C+Mar.+19%2C+2015.
NKU forward Kaitlyn Gerrety shoots the ball while being defended by two Marshall defenders. NKU lost to Marshall 81-79 in the first round of the WBI at The Bank of Kentucky Center on Thursday, Mar. 19, 2015.

NKU forward Kaitlyn Gerrety shoots the ball while being defended by two Marshall defenders. NKU lost to Marshall 81-79 in the first round of the WBI at The Bank of Kentucky Center on Thursday, Mar. 19, 2015.

Kody Kahle

Kody Kahle

NKU forward Kaitlyn Gerrety shoots the ball while being defended by two Marshall defenders. NKU lost to Marshall 81-79 in the first round of the WBI at The Bank of Kentucky Center on Thursday, Mar. 19, 2015.

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After an opening round loss in the Women’s Basketball invitational (WBI) tournament to Marshall, the NKU women’s basketball team’s season came to end after a third straight winning record in Division I, a trip to the Atlantic Sun Conference championship game, and a third consecutive berth to the WBI.

“Well, I thought that was a really tough way for us to go out and finish the year,” NKU Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit said after the loss. “We were a very solid defensive team most of the season and struggled to score most of the season. The tables turned tonight… Our kids battled and fought and tried to find a way [to win].”

The Norse finished their third Division I season with a 19-14 record, which included a run to the finals of the Atlantic Sun Championship game, losing to Florida Gulf Coast University.

The appearance in the conference tournament was the Norse’s first after the A-Sun Conference announced last summer that NKU would be eligible for conference championships in all sports, beginning with the current academic year.

The Norse entered the conference tournament as the third-seed, hosting the first round game and beating USC Upstate 64-45 at Regents Hall. The Norse then advanced to the semifinals in a matchup with second-seeded Stetson.

Coming into the game as the underdog, the Norse stunned the Stetson Hatter behind the sharp shooting of Molly Franson and Melody Doss, who both scored 14 points, to move the Norse into the championship to face top-seeded and nationally-ranked Florida Gulf Coast.

Finally, a day after the loss to Florida Gulf Coast, the team found out late that night that they would be playing in the WBI for the third straight year, hosting Marshall at The Bank of Kentucky Center on March 19.

Despite the postseason losses, the Norse look toward next season without graduating senior and top scorer Doss.

“Mel is someone we rely a great deal on to find a way to put the ball in the basket,” Plitzuweit said.

The Norse are also losing seniors Malika Glover and Kaitlyn Gerrety to graduation.

“Certainly, [they are] three big losses for our program because of who they are and what they’ve done in their own ways,” Plitzuweit said. “Their legacy is what they’ve done to build our program.”

Despite the losses of Doss, Glover, and Gerrety, NKU’s future looks bright behind players like freshman Kasey Uetrecht, who scored 26 points in the loss to Marshall.

“I think the future is very bright for us,” Plitzuweit said. “I certainly believe playing in tournament action is good for us. It’s a good understanding piece for us.”

 

2014-15 season highlights:

  • Nov. 14, 2014- NKU opens the season with a 76-55 win over Delaware State. Senior Melody Doss led all NKU scorers with 18 points.
  • Dec. 17, 2014- NKU defeated crosstown rival Cincinnati for the second year in a row, 66-52, behind a strong performance from Kaitlyn Gerrety and Christine Roush, who both scored 11 points.
  • Jan. 31, 2015- After making an early second half free throw, senior Melody Doss became the 28th member of the 1,000 point club at NKU.
  • March 6, 2015- The Norse win their first A-Sun Tournament game, a 64-45 win over USC-Upstate at Regents Hall.
  • March 15, 2015- The Norse appear in their first A-Sun Championship game, losing to Florida Gulf Coast.
  • March 19, 2015- NKU ends its season with an opening round loss in the WBI tournament to Marshall. Freshman Kasey Uetrecht led NKU scorers with 26 points, while Doss added 25 points in her collegiate final game.
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NKU women end strong season with loss in WBI