A couple of unfriendly bounces off the rim cost the NKU women’s basketball team Saturday against Akron.
The final one was on a 16-foot jumper by Akron’s Anita Brown from the right baseline at the buzzer. The shot hit the front rim and dropped in to give Akron a 77-75 victory over Northern Kentucky in overtime.
“Hats off to Akron,” NKU Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “They made shots when they really needed to make shots. They got to the rim when they needed to get to the rim.
“As a coach, I feel pretty bad for our kids. It stings. It’s a tough way to go home at Christmastime.”
Northern Kentucky (8-3) led 62-51 with 4:33 remaining. However, the momentum changed when Christine Roush fouled out.
“I thought that was a tough series,” Plitzuweit said. “She was just contesting a pull-up jump shot. Her fourth came on … standing there and a kid ran her over. She had some tough situations that went against her.
“We still have to be able to close out games. I thought we had some opportunities. We took some shots in that late-game scenario that we’d like to have back.”
Hannah Plybon pulled the Zips within three, 66-63, with 39.2 remaining with a three. After an NKU miss, Plybon buried another three with 4.3 remaining to tie the game at 66 and send it to overtime.
The overtime was back-and-forth. Greta Burry converted a three-point play with 1:11 remaining to give Akron a 74-73 lead.
At the other end, Rebecca Lyttle was fouled. After being called for the foul, Burry kicked the ball, which could have been called a technical foul. However, none of the officials agreed as boos rained down on them from the BB&T Arena crowd.
“That was pretty tough,” Plitzuweit said. “She got frustrated because she fouled Becca and she kicked the ball. It is what it is. It wasn’t an incidental thing.”
Lyttle made both free throws and NKU led 75-74 with 56.8 remaining. Brown would be fouled with 45.7 remaining and make one of two free throws to tie the game at 75.
NKU tried to retake the lead. Rianna Gayheart drove to the basket. As she shot, there was contact but no foul and a jump ball gave the ball back to Akron with 16.8 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Brown went isolation, drove to the right baseline, turned and shot. The ball hit the rim, the horn sounded, then the ball dropped through the net for the Akron victory.
“We got to the rim,” Plitzuweit said. “We had an opportunity to score around the rim or get to the free throw line. We didn’t get either one of those opportunities. (Brown) hit a tough shot. She’s a good player and has the ability to do that.”
Brown had a huge game for the Zips, scoring 32 points, pulling down 12 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists. Plybon finished with 19 for the Zips.
In her second game back, Lyttle finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds.
“She played very, very well,” Plitzuweit said. “She played very hard. She played very well.”
Kasey Uetrecht finished with a double-double, scoring 15 and pulling down 12 boards. Roush, Shar’Rae Davis and Gayheart also scored in double figures for the Norse.
Akron dominated on the glass, outrebounding NKU 52-35, including 17-7 in offensive rebounds.
“What we have to go back and figure out … we have to find some assistance on the defensive glass,” Plitzuweit said. “They got to the offensive boards against us.”
Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015
@ BB&T Arena, Highland Heights, Kentucky
Akron 77, Northern Kentucky 75, overtime
A – 15 – 18 – 16 – 17 – 11 — 77N – 17 – 24 – 15 – 10 – 9 — 75
(77) AKRON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Burry 3-0-3-9, Brown 13-1-5-32, Plybon 7-5-0-19, Gibson 2-0-0-4, Piper 1-1-0-3, Hung 2-1-0-5, Ricketts 1-0-1-3, Simone 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 30-8-9-77.
(75) NORTHERN KENTUCKY (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lyttle 6-0-11-23, Ch. Roush 4-4-0-12, Wiegman 0-0-2-2, Uetrecht 5-0-5-15, Davis 4-2-1-11, Gayheart 3-2-2-10, Franson 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 23-8-21-75.
FIELD GOALS: A 30/73 (Brown 13/27, Plybon 7/14, Burry 3/8); N 23/63 (Lyttle 6/10, Uetrecht 5/16, Davis 4/13, Roush 4/12, Gayheart 3/6)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: A 8/19 (Plybon 5/11); N 8/30 (Roush 4/9, Davis 2/9, Gayheart 2/4)
FREE THROWS: A 9/15 (Brown 5/11, Burry 3/3); N 21/24 (Lyttle 11/14, Uetrecht 5/5)
REBOUNDS: A 52 (Brown 12, Burry 10, Barilla 5); N 35 (Uetrecht 12, Lyttle 9, Davis 4)
ASSISTS: A 13 (Brown 6, Barilla 4); N 10 (Davis 3)
STEALS: A 5 (Ricketts 2); N 5 (Davis 2)
BLOCKED SHOTS: A 3; N 3 (Lyttle 2)
TURNOVERS: A 15; N 12