Women’s basketball quells losing streak as offense awakens vs. Robert Morris
December 5, 2022
The NKU women’s basketball team broke a three-game losing streak Sunday afternoon as they earned their first Horizon League victory of the season in a 69-54 defeat of the Robert Morris Colonels.
The Norse had a much better night on the offensive end as they shot 43% from the field and 31% from three-point range. Grad student guard Lindsey Duvall led the Norse in scoring and recorded her second consecutive double-double, hitting 18 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the game. NKU suffocated RMU on the other end of the floor as well, keeping the Colonials to 27% shooting and crashing the boards with 31 defensive rebounds.
“We got off to a great start, and I thought our kids were really locked in,” Norse head coach Camryn Whitaker said of the overall effort and morale of her team coming into the game. “Obviously we want to do a few things better, but I think getting off to a good start helps us for the remainder of the game.”
The great start that Whitaker mentioned saw the Norse jump out to a 15-4 lead over the Colonials through the first eight minutes. Duvall would get NKU on the board with the opening points coming off two free throws, and after Robert Morris took a brief 4-2 lead, Kailee Davis would hit a pair of threes to firmly place the momentum of the first quarter on the side of the Norse.
With a ten-point lead two minutes into the second, the Norse would catch fire as Trinity Thompson came off the bench to lead all scorers in the quarter with five points over the course of a 14-0 run that spanned slightly over seven minutes, bringing the score to 33-9 in favor of NKU. Freshman guard Natalie Johnson would break a 1-for-10 slump for the Colonels as she nailed a three with 50 seconds remaining, but Thompson would immediately get those points back with a three-point play and an assist from Ivy Turner. The Norse would close out the half with a commanding 23-point lead after RMU’s Rebecca Dwomoh earned a three-point play of her own and Duvall sank a driving layup to bring her point total to ten.
“We have to be ready coming off the bench,” Thompson said of her big minutes off the bench, as she would match her 10 total minutes in the game with 10 points. “Coach always comes down the bench and tells everyone, ‘you have to be ready.’ So I just go in and stay focused, not on trying to score but just coming in and doing whatever I can do for the team.”
Robert Morris would have a much better go at things in the second half as they outscored the Norse 17-14 in the third quarter. Phoenix Gedeon and Simone Morris would give RMU six points a piece, but would also find themselves matching their status in foul trouble as they both had four by the end of the quarter. For NKU, Duvall would get six points of her own, with four coming in the paint and two from free throws.
The Colonials would outscore the Norse again in the fourth as Morris and Mackenzie Amalia would lead the charge for RMU in the remaining 10 minutes, with the two scoring a combined 13 points as their team would shoot 10-12 from the free throw line. But despite fouling eight times in the quarter and 17 times in the second half altogether, the Norse would hang on for the win.
Despite the win, Turner said postgame that the Norse needs to improve on closing out wins in the second half as Sunday’s game wasn’t the first time she and her teammates had grown complacent with a big lead.
“We just need to continue to stick with the game plan,” Turner said. “We fouled a lot, but we need to continue to just do what we do on offense and continue to get stops without fouling.”
The Norse return to action at Truist Arena on Thursday, Dec. 8 as they take a break from conference play and begin the I-75 Challenge by taking on Eastern Kentucky. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on Bally Sports Ohio.