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NKU women capture second straight road victory, use balanced attack to top Youngstown

The Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball team made it two in a row on the road as five players reached double figures in an 88-77 win over Youngstown State on Saturday afternoon at the Beeghly Center.

Courtney Roush led the Norse with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting and a perfect 7-for-7 mark from the free-throw line. Shar’Rae Davis followed up with 16 points while Kasey Uetrecht put down 14 points.

Courtney Roush led the Norse with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting and a perfect 7-for-7 mark from the free-throw line (NKU Athletics Photo)

Courtney Roush led the Norse with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting and a perfect 7-for-7 mark from the free-throw line (NKU Athletics Photo)

Christine Roush had 13 points, going 6-of-8 from the field, and Sarah Kinch finished a rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards. As a team, the Norse shot 58 percent (29-for-50) from the field and 50 percent (9-of-18) from beyond the arc. The win improved NKU’s record to 12-8 overall and 4-5 halfway through the Horizon League schedule.

An early 10-0 run keyed by back-to-back treys from Sarah Kinch and Kasey Uetrecht gave NKU a five-point lead at 17-12 witih 4:39 to go in the first quarter. YSU responded with back-to-back threes of their own to retake the lead, but Courtney Roush’s first two points, coming from the free-throw line, gave NKU a 19-18 lead with 3:02 left in the quarter that they would not relinquish. The Norse continued to pour on the offense, as Shar’Rae Davis came on to score eight points in the opening period to post a 30-25 lead after the first.

Davis continued her offensive surge, scoring 12 consecutive Norse points as the game entered the second quarter. NKU’s lead grew to as many as 11 points after Uetrecht knocked down a pair of free throws with 28 seconds to go until halftime, but a buzzer-beating shot from Indiya Benjamin cut the halftime lead to single digits at 50-41.

Courtney Roush continued her offensive output in the third quarter, scoring seven points in the frame, including NKU’s first five points of the half, as the Norse poured on the pressure. Youngstown State was able to keep pace, as Sarah Cash added eight points for the Penguins in the period, and the nine-point Norse advantage held through the third quarter.

An 8-2 run by Youngstown State cut the Norse advantage to as low as six points at 81-75 with 2:18 to play, but NKU was able to get the lead back to double figures after Davis knocked down a key jumper with 1:32 to play and the Norse hit their free throws down the stretch, taking home an 88-77 win.

Cash led Youngstown State (14-6, 5-4 Horizon) with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Janae Jackson added 18 as well.

NKU now turns its eyes to the Windy City as the Norse get set to take on UIC to begin the second half of the League schedule. Thursday’s tipoff from the UIC Pavilion is set for 8 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central.


· NKU’s 30 points in the first quarter and 50 points in the first half both equaled season highs. NKU has scored 30 points in a quarter in back-to-back games.

· Courtney Roush scored 42 points over the course of the weekend, setting a new career high on Thursday and nearly matching that mark again against Youngstown State.

· NKU’s 88 points are the most scored against a Horizon League opponent this season, besting Saturday’s total of 83 points against Cleveland State.

Norse men outlast Detroit behind hot-shooting Murray

Cole Murray issued a 7-of-10 performance from three on Friday as the Norse outlasted Detroit in a 91-83 victory at Calihan Hall.

With the win, NKU improves to 8-12 overall and 4-5 in the Horizon League while Detroit dips to 9-11 and 3-6 in the League.

Murray led NKU with 25 points, just one shy of his career-high, after going 9-for-14 overall. The junior helped the Norse shoot 47.4 percent from the field on the night.

Three other Norse posted double figures as Drew McDonald posted 17 points after going 13-of-14 from the charity stripe, including 5-of-6 throughout the last minute of play to seal the win.

Tyler White and Jalen Billups registered 14 points each. Lavone Holland II picked up nine boards and delivered 6 assists to go along with seven points.

Late in the second half, Murray exploded for three triples in a three minute span as the Norse took off on a 15-6 run to lead 84-78 at the 3:26 mark.

NKU increased its lead to 88-82 with one minute to play and closed out the victory from the free throw line.

The Norse trailed by one at the half, 44-45, despite shooting 50 percent (11-of-22) in the opening period.

The teams traded buckets to open the contest as neither team led by more than six throughout the first 20 minutes. A pair of triples from Murray and White put the Norse ahead 23-19 at the midway point of the half, but the Titans reclaimed their lead at 34-28 with just over five minutes to play.

Deontae Cole launched Northern Kentucky’s sixth triple of the half and handed the Norse a 39-37 edge at the 2:34 mark. The NKU lead stuck until the final second when the Titans’ Josh McFolley connected on a long ball for the halftime edge.

Upon returning to the court, the Titans jumped ahead by six but the Norse countered with a pair of 6-0 runs to lead 60-59 with 12 minutes to go before Murray sparked NKU’s game-changing run.

The contest concluded NKU’s first round through the Horizon League as the Norse are slated to take on Oakland at home on Monday, Feb 1. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at BB&T Arena.

From NKU Athletics

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