NKU Women Win at Jacksonville
Christine Roush scored 22 points, pulled down four rebounds and collected three steals to lead the Northern Kentucky University women's basketball team to a 70-59 victory over Jacksonville University in Atlantic Sun Conference action on Saturday afternoon in Swisher Gymnasium.
Roush knocked down four 3-point field goals and went 8-for-9 from the free-throw line to lead three NKU players in double-figures. Kaitlyn Gerrety finished with 10 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the floor with six rebounds, six steals, three blocked shots and two assists, while Rianna Gayheart added 10 points, three steals and two assists for the Norse, who improved to 12-8 overall and 3-2 in the Atlantic Sun.
Jacksonville used an early 14-3 run to take a 19-8 lead with 13:33 remaining in the first half. After Gerrety and Jenny Vernet traded baskets in the paint, NKU used an 8-0 spurt, led by six points from Roush, to climb to within three (21-18) with just under 10 minutes on the clock.
The Dolphins pushed their advantage back to seven (27-20) with 5:29 left in the half before the Norse slowly started chipping away at their deficit. A 3-pointer from Roush brought NKU to within 27-23 on the next possession, and Briona Brown later hit a jumper to stretch the lead back to six (29-23) with 3:58 remaining.
Melody Doss answered on the other end of the court with a 3-pointer from the right side. With 2:26 on the clock, Sherranda Reddick converted one of her two attempts from the free-throw line to push the Dolphins lead to 30-26. The Norse held Jacksonville scoreless the rest of the half and used a 7-0 run to end the opening stanza to take a 33-30 advantage into the locker room at the break.
Gerrety pushed the NKU advantage with a jumper from just outside the paint to put the Norse ahead, 37-32, with 18:49 left in the second half, but Jacksonville battled back with an 8-0 run to regain the lead at 40-37 with just under 15 minutes to play.
A pair of free throws from Shar'Rae Davis stopped the Dolphins' spurt, but a Brown jumper pushed Jacksonville's lead back to three (42-39) with 13:40 on the clock. Roush tied things up with her fourth trey of the game on the next Norse possession, and Gayheart knocked down a 3-pointer to regain then NKU lead at 45-42 with 12:18 left to play.
The long range shots from Roush and Gayheart sparked an 11-0 run by for the Norse for their first eight-point lead of the game at 50-42 at the 10:32 mark. Kasey Uetrecht answered a Kimberly Dawkins' layup before Jacksonville scored six straight points to pull to within 52-50, capped by a conventional three-point play by Kayla Gordon, with 8:12 remaining.
The Norse responded with a 12-0 run for their largest advantage of the game, 64-50, highlighted by six points from Roush, with 3:16 left to play. The Dolphins cut their deficit to 64-56 on a Brandi Buie layup with 1:23 remaining but were unable to get any closer the rest of the way.
The Dolphins finished with a slight 39-34 edge in rebounds despite the Norse pulling down 17 offensive boards, and NKU was able to score 17 points from its second chances. NKU shot 35.7 percent (20-for-56) from the field, while Jacksonville went 20-for-51 (.392) from the floor.
Reddick finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists to lead Jacksonville, which fell to 6-12 on the year and 1-4 in the Atlantic Sun. Gordon added 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the floor and pulled down seven rebounds, while Brown scored 10 points to go with five boards and two steals.
NKU returns to The Bank of Kentucky Center next week for a pair of Atlantic Sun contests, starting with a Thursday night matchup against Stetson for County Night, where residents of Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties will receive $3 admission.
Two days later, the Norse welcome Florida Gulf Coast for the second County Night and $1 Select Beverage Night. It will also be Shoot Around Saturday, where girls through eighth grade and boys through sixth grade can take the court to take a few shots at various baskets around the court after the game. Players will also be available at the conclusion of the shoot around period for autographs.
Tipoff for both contests is set for 7 p.m. Links to live stats and the ESPN3 broadcast are available at NKUNorse.com, and live in-game updates will be available on Twitter by following @NKUNorseGameDay on Twitter.