Short-handed NKU WBB falls to Green Bay for second consecutive game
Five starters scored every point for Norse in loss
February 6, 2021
The Green Bay Phoenix came into BB&T Arena this weekend and swept the Northern Kentucky women’s basketball team, who was previously undefeated in conference play, winning on Saturday afternoon by a score of 62-58.
Similar to Friday’s game, the Norse were down to just seven rotation players, with point guard Ally Niece out for the season, and multiple other players including forward Emmy Souder also out of action right now.
As a result, the Norse needed every minute of production that they got from their five starters, as the group scored all 58 points that the team collected on Saturday, as the Norse fell to Green Bay for the second consecutive game.
“I think part of it is us. I think part of it is Green Bay and their defense, the way they play, they have always played great defense over the years, and it’s a really tough style to play against,” Head Coach Camryn Whitaker said.
It was a tale of two halves for redshirt junior guard Lindsey Duvall, who looked like she was on her way to having the best game of her collegiate career in the first half. Through the first 20 minutes, Duvall poured in 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and was the clear catalyst of the offensive attack.
In the second half, however, Duvall began to defer to her teammates, taking just six shots in the second half. Duvall taking a backseat coincided with the Norse struggling to consistently put the ball in the basket in the second half, leading to a Green Bay lead that they would not relinquish in the fourth quarter.
Perhaps a larger factor in the outcome than the Norse offensive attack though was Green Bay having much more success from three-point range on Saturday than on Friday afternoon.
The Phoenix, led by a trio of guards in Lyndsey Robson (15 points), Caitlyn Hibner (14 points) and Cassie Schiltz (11 points, 3-4 3P), connected on 50 percent of their 16 three-point field goal attempts. It was a stark contrast to the team shooting just 37.5 percent on their three-point attempts on Friday night.
Other than the three-point shooting statistics for Green Bay, the rest of the first half provided enough optimism to believe that the Norse would salvage a split with the Phoenix during the two-game weekend set.
NKU out-rebounded the Phoenix 19-13, turned the ball over just four times, and guards Ivy Turner and Carissa Garcia combined for 12 points, including a pair of three-pointers from Garcia.
Then the second half rolled around, fatigue became a factor for the five starters that would all finish with over 30 minutes of action in the game, and Green Bay was able to take advantage. The Phoenix pounded the ball into the paint in the fourth quarter, converted on 50 percent of their field goals in the final ten minutes, and perhaps most importantly limited Duvall to only three points in the second half.
“It definitely is a factor in there right now,” Coffey said about the fatigue that the team faced down the stretch. “We don’t really like to use that as an excuse.”
Despite the struggles from the rest of the team offensively, Coffey was able to score 12 of her 15 points in the second half, demonstrating that she too can be a viable offensive weapon when the shots are not falling for the team’s leading scorers, Duvall and Turner.
Coffey also grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out a pair of assists and collected three steals to go along with the 15 points that was second on the team to Duvall’s 19.
“They opened me up a little more, gave me some dump passes, and just allowed me to get to the bucket a little bit,” Coffey said.
Whitaker said that with just four regular season games remaining on the schedule, the Norse are hoping to get a more consistent schedule that has eluded them this season, due in large part to COVID-19 issues that have impacted the program in numerous ways.
“I think we have got to find a way to get our team to be consistent and find some type of routine hopefully over these next few weeks, because that is something that we’ve not really had this year is a consistent, steady routine,” Whitaker said.
Following the two-game sweep this weekend, the Norse are now 6-7 overall, but remain a comfortable 6-2 in conference play, and are still in prime position to earn a respectable seed in the Horizon League Tournament beginning at the end of the month.
NKU will remain at home next weekend, taking on the Wright State Raiders at BB&T Arena on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game will tip off at 3:00 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN+.