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Roush's Career High Leads Norse Women Over Marquette, As Cincinnati Awaits

Christine Roush scored a career-high and game-high 29 points on her birthday to lead the Northern Kentucky University women's basketball team to a 77-68 victory over Marquette University on Monday evening at the Al McGuire Center.
 
Roush, whose previous personal best was a 24-point performance against Youngstown State on Nov. 27, 2012, connected on five of NKU's 10 shots from 3-point territory as the Norse improved to 5-5 overall. Melody Doss added her first double-double of the season with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, as both Roush and Doss collected three steals apiece.
 
The Norse jumped out to an early 11-4 lead at the 16:38 mark, courtesy of a trio of 3-pointers from Christine Roush, Kelley Wiegman and Melody Doss, followed by a jump shot from Wiegman inside the paint.  Marquette answered with six straight points to cut its deficit to one (11-10), before NKU went on an 11-2 run to take a 22-12 advantage with 8:17 left in the opening 20 minutes.
 
NKU stretched its first half lead to 30-17 on Roush's third trey of the game with 5:45 left on the clock.  The Golden Eagles came to within eight several times over the remainder of the half with the last being at 34-26 with 2:11 remaining, but the Norse pushed back with eight unanswered points for a 42-28 advantage at the halftime break.
 
Marquette (2-7) opened the second half with a 6-0 run to cut the NKU advantage to 42-34 just over one minute into the stanza. Kaitlyn Gerrety's first basket of the night extended the Norse lead back to double-digits (44-34) on the next possession.
 
With the Norse holding a 49-40 advantage with 15:08 remaining, the Golden Eagles used a 7-0 run to come to within two at 49-47 at the 12:00 mark.  After a 3-pointer from Roush, Bell converted a conventional 3-point play at the other end of the court for a 52-50 NKU advantage with 10:23 on the clock.
 
The Golden Eagles eventually made it a one-point ballgame at 56-55 with 8:44 left on a Lauren Tibbs layup, and the two teams traded points over the next two possessions.  NKU then extended its lead thanks to a 14-1 run to bring the score to 72-58 at the 2:32 mark.
 
Marquette put together one last run, a 10-2 spurt led by four points from Bell, to cut the Norse advantage to 74-68 with 26 seconds left to play.  After a Golden Eagles timeout, Wiegman connected one of two attempts and Roush added a pair of her own from the free-throw line to seal the NKU victory.
 
NKU finished with a slight 42-40 edge in rebounds against the taller Marquette team, and the Norse limited the Golden Eagles to just 3-for 12 shooting from behind the 3-point arc.  NKU forced Marquette into 19 turnovers, including 11 in the first half.
 
Gerrety finished with eight points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Norse, who shot 42.6 percent from the field. Rianna Gayheart added eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.
 
Bell led the Marquette effort with 25 points, eight steals, three assists and two rebounds, while Shantelle Valentine and Tia Elbert each recorded 11 points.  Valentine pulled down a team-high nine rebounds, and Elbert grabbed four boards and dished out a team-leading four assists for the Golden Eagles, who shot 45.7 percent from the field in the second half to finish at 40.9 percent for the game.  Marquette was able to get to the charity stripe 21 times but only connected on 11 attempts.
 
NKU returns to The Bank of Kentucky Center on Dec. 17 as the Norse welcome local rival Cincinnati to Highland Heights for the second consecutive season.  NKU will be hosting a Pajama Party to benefit the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.  Fans are encouraged to wear their pajamas to the game and will receive $3 admission if they bring a new pair of pajamas (with the tag still attached) for Cincinnati Children's patients.
 
The Norse will then cross the Ohio River for a neutral site contest against Delaware at Cincinnati on Friday. Tipoff is schedule for 7 p.m. both nights, and links to live stats for both contests will be available at NKUNorse.com. Wednesday's game against Cincinnati will also be broadcast on ESPN3. For in-game updates, be sure to follow @NKUNorseGameDay as well.

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