Post-Season Comes to Quick End for NKU Women with Loss to Marshall
Northern Kentucky (19-14) saw its postseason come to an end in a dramatic 81-79 defeat to Marshall (17-14) in the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI), which marked the third-straight appearance in the WBI for the Norse.
Northern Kentucky's Kasey Uetrecht had a career-night – by halftime. The freshman dropped 6-of-7 shots from the floor, including a perfect 3-for-3 from long range, en route to 17 first-half points. Fourteen of those points came in the final seven minutes of the stanza as Marshall struggled to contain Uetrecht.
The Norse rode Uetrecht's hot hand, expanding a two-point lead at the 6:50 mark to as many as 10 with 2:45 left in the first half.
But, the Thundering Heard kept in the game and used a running jumper at the horn to send the game into intermission with the Norse holding a six-point advantage, 43-37.
Northern Kentucky shot 48 percent (16-of-33) from the floor in the frame, compared to 54 percent (14-of-26) shooting for Marshall. NKU forced 12 Marshall miscues that led to a 16-11 advantage in points off of turnovers.
Consecutive 3-pointers from Marshall's McKenzie Akers and Leah Scott tied the game 48 seconds after intermission, but Northern Kentucky responded.
Christine Roush hit a three. Melody Doss connected on a trey of her own. Then, Kaitlyn Gerrety and Uetrecht converted back-to-back layups, and the Norse lead reached double-digits, 53-43, for the second time of the game.
Over the next five minutes of action, the two teams continually traded baskets. Back-and-forth the scoring went. Doss and Uetrecht took over for the Norse, combining to convert all six of NKU's baskets during a stretch that ended with Doss' layup with 10 minutes on the clock to give the Norse a nine-point margin, 66-57.
The Thundering Herd answered, scoring 11 unanswered points to move back in front, 68-66. It was the first Marshall lead since 24-23 with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
Consecutive jumpers from Gerrety pushed the Norse back ahead, 72-70.
The advantage was short lived. AJ Johnson scored a layup for Marshall. Three more baskets came in short order from Akers, Scott and Johnson to cap nine-straight Herd points and provide them with a 77-70 lead.
The Madness was only beginning.
Doss and Roush converted back-to-back lay-ins. Roush then stole the ball and took it to the rack to pull NKU within a point, 77-76, with 45 seconds left.
Stout defense from Northern Kentucky on the ensuing Marshall possession seemed to have the Herd stymied, but a 25-foot heave from Johnson with 1 second on the shot clock banked in to push NKU's deficit back to four, 80-76, with 15.8 ticks on the clock.
Uetrecht answered with 7.7 seconds remaining, knocking down her fourth trey of the game.
NKU fouled Scott on the in-bounds pass. Scott stepped to the line and converted 1-of-2, leaving the door open for one last Norse chance.
Rianna Gayheart's attempt at the buzzer was short, and Northern Kentucky fell to Marshall, 81-79.
Uetrecht was sensational for the Norse, finishing with a career-high 26 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the floor and 4-of-4 from three. Doss also reached 20 points, pouring in 25 on 10-of-17 field-goal attempts.
Scott led the Herd with 26 points. She connected on 11-of-16 attempts.
Northern Kentucky knocked down 53 percent (32-of-60) from the field and 41 percent (12-of-29) from three. The Norse also dished out a season-high 24 assists, recording a dish on 75 percent of their makes.
Marshall closed the game making 57 percent of its attempts from both the floor (32-of-56) and three-point range (12-of-21). Akers (18), Enjonae Chambers (13) and Johnson (11) also reached double figures for the Herd.
- Uetrecht (26) and Doss (25) each scored more than 20 points in the game, marking the first time since Jan. 30, 2010 that two Norse reached the 20-point plateau in the same game. Cassie Morgan (23) and Brandi Rayburn accomplished the feat against St. Joseph's (Ind.) in a 71-59 Norse victory.
- Uetrecht's previous career-high was a 10-point effort against USC Upstate on Jan. 17, 2015. NKU won that game, 77-74.
- Northern Kentucky's 12 made threes matched its season-high, which it had accomplished three other times – FGCU (2/12), Lipscomb (1/10) and Ohio (11/25).
- This marks the third season the Norse have earned a berth into the WBI. The No. 1 ranking marks the highest seed NKU has received.
From NKU Norse