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Six wins in seven games as Norse pound Oakland

Christine+Roush+%2810%29+had+24+points+Sunday+in+NKU%27s+80-64+win+over+Oakland.
Christine Roush (10) had 24 points Sunday in NKU's 80-64 win over Oakland.

Christine Roush (10) had 24 points Sunday in NKU's 80-64 win over Oakland.

Matt Sexton

Matt Sexton

Christine Roush (10) had 24 points Sunday in NKU's 80-64 win over Oakland.

Christopher Decker, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Northern Kentucky women’s basketball team overcame a slow start in the first quarter Sunday afternoon to beat the Oakland Grizzlies 80-64 in BB&T Arena, sweeping the season series.

The Norse improve to 16-9 on the season with an 8-6 record in the Horizon League while the Grizzlies fall to 14-12 and 6-9.

“That was a very good team we just had the opportunity to play and our kids played very well,” NKU Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “I thought we did a really good job slowing them down and that helped us separate in this game.”

Christine Roush led the Norse with 24 points on 8 of 16 shooting and 6 rebounds while her sister Courtney scored 16 points on 7 of11 shooting. The two sisters combined for 40 of the 80 points the Norse scored in the game.

“It’s surprising when you tell us we scored 40 points,” Courtney Roush said. “We just want people to have confidence in us when they hand us the ball that we will execute.”

The Norse finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field and 37 percent from the three-point line, adding to their league-leading season average in the category of 36.2 percent.

They also forced the Grizzlies to turn the ball over 23 times and frustrated the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week Olivia Nash, who only scored 11 points.

“We did a very good job finding her on the perimeter and not giving her easy shots,” Plitzuweit said. “Our whole team did a good job helping quickly.”

The first quarter of the game was fast paced but sloppy for both teams. While the Norse pressure defense forced Oakland into seven turnovers, NKU only shot 39 percent from the field while Oakland shot 53 percent. Sophomore guard Kasey Uetrecht scored seven of her eight points in the quarter, keeping the game close and ending the quarter in a 17-17 tied.

“We had good energy to start the game,” Plitzuweit said, “But we didn’t have the same offensive movement we had the first time we played them.”

The Norse turned to the bench to provide a spark in the second quarter.

“Our bench really provided the energy we needed to get over the hump,” Christine Roush said.

That energy came in the form of her sister, who came off the bench and scored 11 points in the quarter on 5 of 6 shooting.

“I think I am a big boost of energy off the bench when it gets a little slow in the beginning,” Courtney said.

The Norse outscored the Grizzlies 27-14 in the quarter and shot almost 65 percent from the field. The Norse also got Oakland’s leading scorer Olivia Nash into foul trouble and held Oakland to just 33 percent shooting. Christine Roush also scored nine points in the quarter, giving the Norse a 44-31 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was more of the same for the Norse. They forced seven turnovers in the quarter and outscored the Grizzlies 24-15 in the quarter. With 4:32 remaining in the third quarter, the Roushes had 35 combined points and the entire Oakland team had 36 points.

“Right now we are playing really good team defense,” Christine Roush said. “We’re just looking to make plays on the defensive end and get those turnovers. We just had the mindset to keep going and not let up in the second half.”

The Norse will start a two-game road trip at Milwaukee on Thursday night, who beat them by 26 in their first meeting. The second game of the road trip is a matchup with league-leading Green Bay on Saturday, who have only lost one game in the conference and beat the Norse by nine in the first meeting.

Summary

Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016

@ BB&T Arena, Highland Heights, Kentucky

Northern Kentucky 80, Oakland 64

O — 17 – 14 – 15 – 18 — 64
N — 17 – 27 – 24 – 12 — 80

(64) OAKLAND (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Russell 2-0-1-5, Nash 5-0-1-11, Popkey 2-0-0-4, Gleason 3-1-0-7, Taylor 2-0-2-6, Jones 5-2-1-13, Somerfield 2-0-1-5, Santos 1-0-0-2, Dodd 4-3-0-11. TOTALS 26-6-6-64.

(80) NORTHERN KENTUCKY (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lyttle 4-0-0-8, Glick 3-2-0-8, Gayheart 2-2-0-6, Ch. Roush 8-4-4-24, Uetrecht 3-1-1-8, Davis 1-0-0-2, Co. Roush 7-0-2-16, Franson 4-0-0-8. TOTALS 32-9-7-80.

FIELD GOALS: O 26/59 (Nash 5/10, Jones 5/11, Dodd 4/9); N 32/69 (Ch. Roush 8/16, Co. Roush 7/11, Lyttle 4/7, Franson 4/10)

3 POINT FIELD GOALS: O 6/25 (Dodd 3/8); N 9/24 (Ch. Roush 4/7)

FREE THROWS: O 6/12; N 7/10 (Ch. Roush 4/4)

REBOUNDS: O 37 (Somerfield 9, Popkey 7, Nash 5, Jones 5); N 38 (Gayheart 6, Ch. Roush 6, Uetrecht 5, Lyttle 4)

ASSISTS: O 10; N 17 (Gayheart 3, Ch. Roush 3, Davis 3)

STEALS: O 8; N 17 (Gayheart 4, Davis 4, Lyttle 3)

BLOCKED SHOTS: O 5 (Russell 2); N 2

TURNOVERS: O 23; N 15

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Six wins in seven games as Norse pound Oakland