NKU defends home court against Cleveland State

NKU ended the home season with six straight home wins.

Sierra Newton, Sports Editor

NKU women’s basketball team ended the home season with six game winning streak against Cleveland State Sunday afternoon with a score of 74-55. The Norse move to 8-8 in the conference and 9-17 on the season. Cleveland State Vikings fall to 10-18 on the season and 7-10 in the Horizon League.

Freshman point guard Taylor Clos led the win with 17 points and 4 assists. Sophomore forward Jazmyne Geist followed with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Redshirt junior Molly Glick had 13 points, 3-of-7 behind the arc and snagged two steals. Sophomore forward Kailey Coffey led the night in rebounds with 10 and contributed 6 points in the win.

NKU opened up the game with a layup from Geist. NKU rebounded the ball from a missed Cleveland shot and Freshman point guard Ally Niece found Glick in transition for a layup. Geist once again got the ball underneath and put up two points starting the 9-0 the run Norse went on. The Norse ended the quarter up 21-6.

Cleveland State started out the second quarter hot, but NKU didn’t allow that to happen for long. NKU scored 14 points in the paint opposed to Cleveland State’s four points. The Norse went into halftime 31-17.

“They did pretty good rebounding offensively,” senior guard Taryn Taugher said. “But then at halftime we were like ‘Okay, now it’s time that we need to start boxing them out’ and we need to take charge of the offensive boards.”

For the half the Norse shot 38.7 percent from the field and held the Vikings to 20 percent. From behind the arc NKU shot 30 percent and held Cleveland State to only making 1-of-9 from three.

The third quarter started off slower for NKU they didn’t score for the first two  minutes of the quarter. Glick ended the drought with a pull up jumper in the middle of the free throw line. Sophomore forward Grayson Rose got an easy layup to bring the score to 38-27 with the Norse up. The Norse were able to stretch out the lead to 13 points by the end of the quarter.

Geist started the Norse off for the fourth quarter. Clos heated up during the quarter with four three pointers, including back to back trips down the court that ended in Clos hitting triples.

“It’s just I hit one and then I kind of get myself into the flow,” said Clos. “And once I get one, I just get more confident. And once they start feeding me the ball I know that they’re confident in me.”

Niece had a big block on the defensive end with 5 minutes left to go. The Norse converted the deflection into a three point basket by Glick to bring the score to 70-45. The Norse continued to stretch out the lead ending the game 74-55.

“It [winning weekend] sets the tone for the rest of the season,” Geist said. “Obviously, we have two more winnable games, and it’ll help us be more confident going into the tournament”

Before the game began Taugher was recognized for her time spent on the team with her framed jersey. Taugher contributed 4 points and 4 assists to the game. As she left the court for the last time she received a standing ovation.

“It feels really good because they popped us by 30 last time,” said Taugher. “So we were coming in with a full mind on beating them and it feels good to come out with the win. A little bit of revenge there.”

Up next, the Norse travel to Oakland to continue the last leg of regular season conference play. The game is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.

“I think at this point, the season teams are who they are,” Head Coach Camryn Whitaker said. “And so fine tuning some things defensively, offensively, really working on execution, continuing to shoot get a lot of skill work in, I think that’s going to be really important this week. We’re going to prepare for Oakland and try to finish out … on a high note. And that’s really the only goal right now is just continuing to focus on improvement.”