NKU extend win streak to three with win over Detroit Mercy

Freshman forward Jazmyne Geist scored a career-high 14 points to lead the Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball team to a 64-60 victory over Detroit Mercy on Saturday afternoon in BB&T arena. After a previous three game losing streak, the Norse have now won three in a row, improving to 6-8 in conference play and 8-18 overall. The Titans fall to 1-23 overall and 1-12 in Horizon League play.

“Total team effort,” said head coach Camryn Whitaker. “Things didn’t go our way. Molly [Glick] had a rough night and she hasn’t had one of those in a long time. But, we had other people step up and that’s a huge sign of growth for us.”

After two straight offensive rebounds by senior forward Brianne Cohen, junior guard Brittney Jackson nailed a clutch 3-pointer for the Titans to knot the game at 60, with 42 seconds remaining.

The Norse shifted the momentum back in their favor after Kailey Coffey converted a layup, with an assist from Geist to take the lead 62-60, with 12.9 seconds remaining. Detroit Mercy’s freshman forward Lexey Tobel missed the go ahead three with seven seconds remaining and Taryn Taugher sank two free throws to seal the victory for the Norse.

“We are definitely a tough team,” Taugher said. “We are strong, we are fast and we know how to fight back.”

Coffey and Taugher combined for 19 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.

They are two of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached,” Whitaker said. “Even when it’s not going our way, they seem to always find a way to get stops and do what we need them to do.”

Mikayla Terry finished the game with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists.

“Mikayla Terry for the past four or five games has just been phenomenal for us at the point,” Whitaker said. “If you look at her assist to turnover ratio, it’s unbelievable and she did it again tonight.”

The Norse finished the game shooting 24 of 57 (42.1 percent) from the field, held the advantage in the paint, 36-16 and outrebounded the Titans, 41-33.

The Norse fell behind early in the first, but battled back to end the quarter ahead of the Titans 13-11. The Norse would maintain their lead midway through the second, until the Titans posted a 7-0 run to go ahead 26-22. Sophomore guard Lola Ristovski drained a three late in the quarter to keep the Titans ahead of the Norse, 33-29, headed into halftime. The Titans were 12 of 26 (46.2 percent) from the floor while the Norse shot 12 of 28 (42.9 percent).

The Titans would extend their lead and go ahead by seven points early in the third. However, a quick 6-0 run had the Norse back to within one with 5:41 left to play in the quarter. Gracie Roberts would give the Titans the lead back after hitting a trey from the wing, but a pair of late free throws gave the Norse the advantage headed into the fourth.

The Norse took an early four point lead in the fourth. But the Titans continued to claw their way back and used a 7-2 run to take the lead again, 55-54, with 5:55 remaining.

Both teams would continue to trade blows until Jackson hit the Titans 11th three-pointer to knot the game at 60. Coffey and Taugher would go on to score the final four points for the Norse to end the game, 64-60.

“When coach put me in, I just thought to myself, I gotta do whatever I gotta do to help my team win,” said Coffey. “Going forward, we’re just going to continue to work hard and continue to get better.”

The Norse look to extend their winning streak when they travel to Dayton, Ohio to take on Wright State University on Saturday, February 17th. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m..