NKU Women Suffer First Conference Loss
Queen Alford and Stephanie Edwards combined for 30 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Jacksonville University women's basketball team to a 67-56 victory over Northern Kentucky University Saturday at the Swisher Gymnasium as the Dolphins remained undefeated in Atlantic Sun Conference play.
Edwards finished with 16 points, six assists and five rebounds to lead the way for Jacksonville, which improved to 8-8 overall and a perfect 5-0 in the Atlantic Sun, while Alford scored 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the floor and grabbed eight rebounds as the Dolphins stopped NKU's winning streak at five.
"I give Jacksonville a lot of credit," NKU head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. "They are a very good team, and they play very hard. They beat us to a lot of possessions but not from a lack of effort by our kids. They were just more athletic than we are and beat us to a lot of second-chance opportunities and loose balls."
Melody Doss led the way for the NKU, which fell to 9-8 on the year and 5-1 in the Atlantic Sun, with her fifth double-double of the season. She finished with 17 points, a game-high 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Christine Roush added 15 points, four rebounds and two assists for the Norse. She has now scored in double figures in each of the last five games for NKU.
"I think Christine is a person who can help us against a man defense and a person who can help us against the zone," Plitzuweit said. "She is a person who has a good feel, and she does some good things for us."
Jacksonville took a 35-28 lead into halftime despite NKU shooting 46.2 percent from the field in the first half. The Dolphins shot 35.1 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes but forced 10 Norse turnovers and pulled down 12 offensive rebounds for the advantage at the break.
NKU opened the second half with a 7-0 run, sparked by five points from Roush, to tie the game at 35-all with 17:02 remaining. Jacksonville scored the next six points to regain the lead at 41-35 at the 14:19 mark.
After the Norse pulled to within one (41-40), the Dolphins broke the game open with a 16-0 run to take a 57-40 lead with 6:42 left on the clock for their largest lead of the game. NKU later went on a 6-0 run to cut the Jacksonville lead to 10 twice, the last at 66-56 with 30 seconds left, but could get no closer.
"I thought we did a great job to start the second half of taking away their penetration," Plitzuweit said. "They were trying to pass, and Kaitlyn (Gerrety) got a couple of deflections. We took away some drive penetrations, and then in the next two or three minute stretch we didn't do that. I think they scored eight to 10 points from around the rim or from the free throw line, and I thought that really hurt us."
Jade Cargill added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Dolphins, who went just 1-for-7 from behind the 3-point arc and shot 36.7 percent from the field on the day. Briona Brown finished with nine points, four rebounds and two steals.
Lauren White finished with nine points and a career-high seven rebounds for the Norse.
Jacksonville outrebounded NKU by a 44-38 margin and finished with a 32-18 advantage in points in the paint on the day. The Dolphins limited the Norse to 24 percent shooting from the floor in the second half, and NKU shot 35.3 percent for the game.
The Norse finished 15-for-18 from the free-throw line to improve their conference-best percentage to 76.4 on the year, while Jacksonville converted on 22 of its 33 total attempts from the charity stripe.
NKU returns to The Bank of Kentucky Center on Jan. 25 as the Norse host Lipscomb at 7 p.m. to begin a three-game homestand. Links to live stats, video and audio will be available at nkunorse.com.