Friday, March 19, 1999

Northern Kentucky women lose in Final Four




BY TODD TRAUB
Enquirer contributor

        PINE BLUFF, Ark. — After 22 consecutive victories, Northern Kentucky Coach Nancy Winstel isn't going to get down on her team for one loss, even if it cost the Norse a spot in the NCAA Division II national championship game.

        The Norse pulled within 58-57 of Arkansas Tech in their semifinal game Thursday at Pine Bluff Convention Center, but two free throws by ATU freshman guard Mindy Lasater, fouled while shooting a three-pointer, and two more by teammates Angie Harris and A.J. Thomas helped ATU hang on for the 62-57 victory.

        “I am very proud of my team,” Winstel said. “They're a great bunch of ladies. 30-3 is not shabby. I told them I love them as much today as I did yesterday.”

        Michele Tuchfarber pulled NKU within 58-57 with less than a minute left, but Lasater was fouled by Jessica Jenson and went to the line, missing her first and hitting her next two after some advice from ATU senior center Khelli Mullen.

        “I was bascally just telling her put them in, no big deal,” Mullen said.

        NKU was 0-for-7 from the field to open the game and was outrebounded 33-26 overall, but still came back to lead several times in the second half. Shannon Smith, who scored 14 points, tied it at 41 with a jumper from in front with under 9 minutes left, but Lasater hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to start a 13-6 run, with Lasater and Mullen scoring all of Tech's points, to take a 54-47 lead and Tech never trailed again.

        “I think we just gave too many second shots,” Winstel said. “You've got to take your hat off to No. 5 (Lasater) and No. 50 (Mullen).”

        Michelle Cottrell led NKU with 18 points and Tuchfarber had 15. Lasater led Tech (31-6) with 18 points, followed by Thomas with 15, Mullen with 14 and Laura Buss with 10. Mullen added a game-high 12 rebounds and team-high 5 assists. .

        NORTHERN KENTUCKY (30-3) — Stanley 0-4 1-5 1, Tuchfarber 5-17 4-7 15, Kelsey 2-5 3-4 9, Cottrell 9-14 0-0 18, Smith 6-7 2-2 14, Jenson 0-3 0-0 0, Kamrath 0-0 0-0 0, Roddy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-50 10-18 57.

        ARKANSAS TECH (31-6) — Lasater 5-14 5-8 18, Huskey 0-1 0-0 0, Harris 2-8 1-2 5, Buss 5-8 0-0 10, Mullen 5-11 1-3 14, Thomas 5-7 5-7 15, Hodges 0-0 0-0 0, Compton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-49 12-20 62.

        Halftime: AT 27, NKU 24. Three-point field goals: NKU 3-10 (Stanley 0-2, Tuchfarber 1-3, Kelsey 2-3, Jenson 0-2); AT 6-15 (Lasater 3-10, Mullen 3-5). Fouled out: NKU—Cottrell. Rebounds: NKU 26 (Stanley 7), AT 22 (Mullen 12). Assists: NKU 11 (Kelsey 5), AT 16 (Mullen 6). Total fouls: NKU 16, AT 20.

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