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Terry scores career high in Norse victory

NKU%27s+Mikayla+Terry+%284%29+drives+around+a+defender+Monday+as+the+Norse+played+Ohio+University+in+Athens%2C+Ohio.
NKU's Mikayla Terry (4) drives around a defender Monday as the Norse played Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

NKU's Mikayla Terry (4) drives around a defender Monday as the Norse played Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Matt Sexton

Matt Sexton

NKU's Mikayla Terry (4) drives around a defender Monday as the Norse played Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Christopher Decker, Sports Editor

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During the preseason, NKU women’s basketball coach Camyrn Whitaker talked about putting her team in situations where her NKU women’s basketball team would finish close games.

Saturday, the Norse did just that, beating East Tennessee State 62-56 at BB&T Arena. The Norse improved to 2-3 on the season while the Buccaneers fell to 2-3. 

With 4:28 left in the fourth quarter, ETSU’s Anajae Stephney hit a shot to cut the Norse lead to three, after leading by as many as 11 in the third quarter. Both teams went back and forth the rest of the quarter, but the Norse never lost the lead, despite allowing Stephney to score six fourth quarter points.  

The Norse played one of their best all-around games of the season, shooting 38 percent from the field and outrebounding the Buccaneers 40-27, including 17 offensive rebounds. 

“We had been really struggling offensively,” Whitaker said. “Our offense was in a better flow. We moved the ball much better than we have been, so our shots were better shots. We outrebounded them by 13 and shot more free throws than they shot, which are signs we are being aggressive and attacking the basket.”

They also forced ETSU into 12 turnovers. Despite 23 points from Shamauria Bridges, the Norse held ETSU below their season average. Tianna Tarter, ETSU’s leading scorer, was held to just three points. 

The Norse zone defense forced six turnovers and helped the Norse jump out to an 18-7 lead in the first quarter, a lead they would never lose. 

“Defensive is where we have played pretty well this year,” Whitaker said. “Our defense is where it starts. We had a game plan and we really stuck to it. We took 15 (Tarter) out of the game.”

Mikayla Terry carried the Norse in this game, scoring 23 points on 8 for 11 shooting. She was perfect from behind the three-point line, going 4-4.

“She is our best defender. She can get to the rim and now her shot has improved immensely because she has worked hard at it,” Whitaker said. “I put the ball in her hands a lot and that is new to her.” 

Before this year, Terry was coming off the bench averaging just 1.6 points per game and averaging nine minutes a game. Prior to this year, the junior’s career high in points was eight, which happened four times her freshman year. 

Terry is now a regular starter and is learning to adjust to the new role.

“She is playing a role she isn’t used to playing,” Whitaker said. “She hasn’t had much time on the floor. She is like a freshman out there. She is still getting used to it.”

Kasey Uetrecht scored a season-high 15 points and recorded four rebounds in the victory, after only scoring seven and making seven turnovers against Ohio.

“It’s like ‘finally,'” Uetrecht said. “Coach has had the utmost faith in me and has always had my back. It was a good game for me and a good team win.”

For Uetrecht, it has been an up-and-down season. After scoring 10 points in the opening game at Indiana State, Uetrecht only scored four points and fouled out of the game against Miami. She then scored 12 against Indiana University East. She is averaging 9.6 points per game but also averaging 4.6 turnovers a game. 

Whitaker hopes this performance will help propel the Norse further into the season.

“Those two stepped up tonight, like juniors are supposed to. I’ve spent a lot of time with both of them personally,” Whitaker said. “They’ve been struggling and I know that. They want to win and to finally see it pay off for both of them will hopefully give them confidence.”

The Norse will look to make it back to .500 Wednesday, when they face Stetson University at 11:30 a.m. The game will be available on ESPN3. 

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Terry scores career high in Norse victory