Norse fall to Austin Peay in closing seconds


Colin Johnson

Molly Glick (24) drives toward the basket in the game against Austin Peay.

Austin Elmore, Contributor

The NKU women’s basketball team lost 53-52 on Tuesday night at BB&T Arena. The loss puts the Norse at 1-6 on the season, and sends Austin Peay to 7-1.

Molly Glick led the Norse offensively with 19 points,  and six rebounds. Kailey Coffey added 16 points and 8 rebounds to aid the Norse. Defensively, Laura Thomas caused havoc with four steals.

“As a whole, I think our team did a great job of inside-out,” Glick said. “Laura is a great player, I love playing with her. She comes off the bench with a lot of energy and that is something we really need.”

A competitive first quarter saw the Norse trailing Austin Peay by just two points and a concentrated effort to get the ball inside, a deviation from head coach Camryn Whitaker’s normal fast-paced offensive philosophy. The defense stepped up in the first period as well, forcing seven turnovers in the first ten minutes.

“We want points in the paint, the closer to the basket the higher the percentage and you have a chance to get to the free throw line,” Whitaker said. “We want the ball to go inside-out. It allows for better ball movement, and forces the defense to shift.”

Austin Peay was dialed in from behind the three-point line, making six of their ten attempts in the first half. NKU was held to just two points in the first seven minutes of the second quarter until a Chyna Anthony basket at the three minute mark.

At halftime, Austin Peay led the Norse by 11 points despite being outrebounded by NKU 16-9. The difference was field goal percentage, where Austin Peay shot 55 percent compared to just 32 percent for NKU.

“I am really proud of our team, we were down 11 at the half and it’s no secret we weren’t playing our best basketball in the first half,” Whitaker said. “I’m just proud of the way we came out in the third quarter.”

NKU came out hot in the second half, scoring 23 points on nine of 12 field goals. Thomas was the spark plug on both ends of the floor with three assists and two steals. Thomas also added three points during the third quarter.

“I was proud of our focus, our effort, and our energy as we came out and we tied it,” Whitaker said. “We talked about, we got to chip away, it’s one possession at a time.”

The fourth quarter was very much back and forth with the lead changing hands — times. The Norse took the lead after a defensive stop led to a Samari Mowbray layup in transition to put the Norse up by one. On the ensuing possession, Austin Peay’s Falon Baker went inside and scored with three seconds remaining in what would end up being the game-winning basket.

“They got 51 shot attempts to our 43, and that extra six possessions, we would have scored on one of them, probably,” Whitaker said. “With our young team, everyday is a learning day, and today was no different.”

On the final possession, Glick drove the lane and put up a contested layup that bounced off the rim as time expired to end the game. 

It won’t get any easier for the Norse as they welcome the Indiana Hoosiers to BB&T Arena at 7 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 9. The game will be available to watch on ESPN3.