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Norse bounce back with 69-60 win over Purdue Fort Wayne

Duvall led the team with 26 points

December 5, 2021


Matthew Dietz

NKU guard Kailee Davis (3) prepares to take a shot against Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday. Davis finished with eight points in the win.

After being knocked off on their home floor Friday night against Cleveland State, the NKU women’s basketball team picked up their second conference victory of the season on Sunday afternoon at BB&T Arena, defeating the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons 69-60. 

Redshirt senior guard Lindsey Duvall led the charge for the Norse with 26 points, while also grabbing eight rebounds. Junior guard Ivy Turner chipped in 11 points while leading the Norse with seven assists and graduate forward Grayson Rose grabbed 10 rebounds, while also coming up with three massive blocks.

“We talked a lot about adversity and watched a lot of film and practiced very little because of the quick turnaround of games and that’s pretty typical of how we have to prepare in conference season,” head coach Camryn Whitaker said. “Just really proud of how our kids bounced back and responded.”

The Mastodons came out hot in the first quarter, draining five of their first seven field goal attempts, led by junior guard Shayla Sellers, who recorded 10 points within the first five minutes. Sellers, who entered the contest shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc, drained her first two three-point attempts, forcing a quick NKU timeout as the Norse trailed 12-6.

Purdue Fort Wayne continued to apply the pressure to the Norse offensively out of the timeout, including a pair of threes from their leading scorer, junior guard Sylare Starks. The Norse were able to end the first quarter with some momentum however, as junior guard Ivy Turner sank a long two-point shot at the end of the quarter, cutting the Purdue Fort Wayne lead to 22-16.

After five quick Purdue Fort Wayne points to begin the second period, the Norse stormed back, breaking off a 13-0 run behind five points from Duvall as well as back-to-back threes from sophomore guard Carissa Garcia and freshman guard Kailee Davis. Davis scored eight points on Sunday, while her 17 minutes played was the most that she has seen in her collegiate career so far.

“She’s had a really good two weeks of practice, and I thought she had earned the right to get in the game and she went in and she proved that she earned it,” Whitaker said.

The Norse were able to limit Sellers and Starks to a combined four points in the second quarter, though the Mastodons continued to generate offense, mainly from junior guard Riley Ott who had nine points in the first half, second on Purdue Fort Wayne to Sellers’ 12. 

Sparked by another late basket just before the buzzer, the Norse entered the halftime break with a 40-37 advantage, erasing a six-point first quarter deficit. Duvall led the Norse in scoring in the first half with 13 points, while Turner chipped in eight first half points with a team-leading five assists. The duo also combined to go a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw line.

After struggling right out of halftime on Friday night during a loss against Cleveland State, the Norse exploded out of the locker room on Sunday, stringing together a quick 10-3 run to force a Purdue Fort Wayne timeout and extend their lead to double-digits, 50-40. 

“Coach and all the other staff, they just kept continuing to tell us to push the pace, and we did a really good job in the first half,” Turner said. “My job was just trying to continue to push pace and Lindsey and all my other teammates were knocking it down so I just kept hitting them when they were open.”

Outstanding defense by the Mastodons ensued for the remaining part of the quarter, as the Norse scored just three points after their run. 

Leading 53-50 going into the fourth quarter, Duvall buried a clutch triple from the corner within the first minute, stretching the lead to 56-50. A pair of free throws with just over five minutes remaining pushed her total to 21, her fourth game of the season with at least 20 points. 

After the Mastodons took a brief 60-58 lead off of an Ott three, senior forward Emmy Souder buried a pair of free throws for the Norse to push them back in front 61-60. 

Then Duvall took over, knocking down a pair of clutch shots in the final minutes. Duvall scored the final five points for the Norse, including a dagger three with 27 seconds remaining to stretch the lead to 66-60. 

“I was feeling good, because the past few practices, all of my teammates and my coaches had been preaching to me to just keep shooting it, and even if they are not all going down, just having that confidence that they still want me to shoot it, I think that played a key role in me making the shots at the end,” Duvall said.

Now 2-2 in Horizon League action, the Norse have gotten a glimpse of how they stack up against the rest of the conference, something that they believe will only help them improve when conference play starts back up on Dec. 31.

“It’s just going to help us in the long run, which is tournament time, so we just take it one game at a time and we’re just trying to get better for the tournament,” Turner said.

NKU will be back in action at BB&T Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 8 against Kentucky State. Tipoff is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.

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