Thursday, March 18, 1999

NKU women storm into Final Four


Norse will play Arkansas Tech today

BY TODD TRAUB
Enquirer contributor

[tate]
NKU's Jessica Jensen, right, defends against Jodi Frederick of Indiana (Pa.).
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        PINE BLUFF, Ark. — On Tuesday, most of the coaches at the NCAA Division II women's Elite Eight mentioned their good fortune in getting this far. On Wednesday, Northern Kentucky Coach Nancy Win stel felt luckier than most.

        The Norse beat Indiana University of Pennsylvania 75-67 at Pine Bluff Convention Center to advance to the second Final Four in school history, but they had to survive an IUP rally that nearly erased a 22-point lead.

        “We were pretty excited about the way we played in the first half,” Winstel said. “We were hoping we could sustain it.”

        IUP pulled within four points of NKU in the final two minutes before the Norse hit their free throws to seal the victory.

ELITE EIGHT
Wednesday's Results
  North Dakota 96, Kennesaw St. 69
  Emporia State 99, Bentley, Mass. 72
  Arkansas Tech 68, Montana State-Billings 56
  NKU 75, Indiana, Pa. 67

Today's Semifinals
  North Dakota (29-1) vs. Emporia St. (30-2), 7 p.m.
  NKU (30-2) vs. Arkansas Tech (30-6), 9 p.m.

Championship
  Saturday, March 20

        NKU (30-2) plays in the Final Four at 9 p.m. today against Arkansas Tech (30-6), a 68-56 winner over Montana State-Billings on Wednesday. The winner will play in the national championship game at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

        The only other time NKU made the Final Four was in 1987. The Norse lost 77-74 in overtime to New Haven (Conn.).

        Overtime looked possible on Wednesday after IUP's big comeback. NKU led 44-24 at halftime and scored the first points of the second half for a 22-point lead. IUP (26-6) rallied behind 6-foot-1 senior center Jodi Frederick.

        Frederick scored 18 of her career- and game-high 25 points in the second half and hit the three-pointer that cut NKU's lead to 68-64 with 1:55 left in the game.

        A pair of free throws by NKU's Shannon Smith, who scored 14 of her 20 points in the second half, made it 70-64 with 1:25 left.

        “We've had a lot of people throughout the year that have stepped up in a lot of games,” Smith said. “But I think your seniors especially have to step up.”

        Katie Kelsey stripped the ball from IUP's Beth McDonald and was fouled, but missed both free throws with 59 seconds left.

        Frederick missed a three-pointer for IUP and Michelle Cottrell rebounded and was fouled with 41 seconds left, hitting her second free throw to make it 71-64. With the Indians forced to foul, the Norse hung on for the victory.

        NKU (75) — Stanley 1-1 0-0 3; Tuchfarber 3-5 4-7 11; Kelsey 3-9 4-6 10; Cottrell 3-9 7-10 13; Sh. Smith 7-11 6-6 20; Roddy 2-5 0-0 4; Jenson 4-10 5-8 14; Kamrath 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-50 26-37 75.

        INDIANA PA (67) — Maitland 1-4 2-2 4; Carr 2-4 0-0 5; Woodall 8-19 0-0 17; McDonald 4-5 2-2 10; Frederick 10-16 4-6 25; McGill 0-1 0-0 0; Kabala 2-10 1-2 6; Smith 0-0 0-0 0; Hoy 0-0 0-0 0; Cochran 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-59 9-12 67.

        Three point field goals: NKU (3-9): Stanley 1-1, Tuchfarber 1-1, Kelsey 0-3, Roddy 0-2, Jenson 1-2. Indiana (4-18): Maitland 0-1, Carr 1-3, Woodall 1-4, Frederick 1-5, Kabala 1-5. Halftime score: NKU 44, Indiana 24. Records: NKU 30-2, Indiana 26-6.

MARCH MADNESS PAGE
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