The NKU women’s basketball team cruised past the University of Pikeville 78-36, in the team’s only exhibition game of the season on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m just glad we were able to play somebody different instead of beating ourselves up in practice” head coach Camryn Whitaker said. “We got off to a slow start in the first half, which is expected for the first competition of the season.”
The Norse came out fire on all cylinders with a 5-0 run to start the first quarter, but were quickly matched when the Bears went on an 8-0 run to take a slight lead midway through the first. The Norse would answer back though after a couple of layups by freshmen Ally Niece and Taylor Clos to help the Norse take the lead 12-10 to end the first quarter.
The Norse started to pull away in the second quarter after back-to-back three pointers by Grace White and Molly Glick to extend the lead to nine. Though the Bears would sneak in a couple of layups, the Norse offense proved to be too much, as they finished the half ahead by eleven.
Glick and Niece led the offense at halftime with a combined 12 points, while Kailey Coffey added five points and three rebounds.
The Norse began the third quarter on a 15-0 run and kept the Bears from scoring until Alexis Reed made a layup on a fast break at the 3:25 mark. The Norse would continue to dominate the rest of the second half and held the Bears to a shooting percentage of 29.2 percent.
Coach Whitaker attributed the Norse defense with being able to blow the game open.
“We really wanted to put an emphasis on defense at halftime,” Whitaker said. “We only had five steals at halftime and we wanted to get ten plus in the steals column, so we played man to man the entire second half and tried to let our defense dictate the offense and it worked.”
Glick led the Norse going 7-12 from the field, 4-8 from three and 1-1 at the free throw line to finish with 18 points. Glick also collected one assist and three steals.
“It’s nice to have a good start to the season,” Glick said. “But without my two freshmen guards getting me the ball, the shots would not have been open, so I really owe it to them.”
Clos finished the game with 8 points, four assists and one steal, while Niece, who missed most of her senior season due to knee surgery, finished the game with six points four assists and one steal.
“I learned a lot during my first game,” Niece said. “My knee felt great and I even started to feel like my old self again.”
The Norse will play their first regular season game on Wednesday Nov. 7 against Alderson Broaddus at BB&T arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm and will be broadcast on ESPN+.