Friday, March 09, 2001

NKU men advance in tourney

Sanders scores 32 as Norse slip past Grand Valley State

Enquirer news services

        OWENSBORO, Ky. — Craig Sanders scored 32 points Thursday night as Northern Kentucky defeated Grand Valley State 106-102 in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament Great Lakes Regional at the Owensboro Sporstcenter.

        Third-seeded NKU advances to the semifinals against No.2 seed Southern Indiana (26-3) at 9:15 p.m. today. In their only meeting this season, Southern Indiana beat the Norse 90-75 in Evansville, Ind.

        Sanders (McNicholas) scored 17 points in the first half as NKU (26-6) built a 50-42 lead. Adam Norwell (Anderson) came off the bench and added 15 of his career-high 28 points in the first half for the Norse, who shot 51.4 percent from the field before halftime.

        “Craig Sanders is shooting the ball as well as anyone in the nation, and he continues to hit big shots in in clutch situations,” NKU coach Ken Shields said, noting Sanders' buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the first half.

        Grand Valley State (21-9) used a 13-4 run to start the second half and take a 55-54 lead, but Sanders hit a 3-pointer to give NKU a 57-55 advantage. His 3-pointer with 7:09 left gave the Norse a 76-71 lead, and NKU never trailed again.

        Grand Valley cut the lead to 104-102 with one second remaining on a 3-pointer by John Flynn, but Norwell sealed the win with a dunk at the buzzer.

        The NCAA II Great Lakes Region championship game is scheduled for 8p.m. Saturday night.

        GRAND VALLEY — Bell 3-6 0-0 8, Smith 2-7 1-2 7, Bauer 1-2 0-0 2, Flynn 9-15 4-7 25, Boucher 11-17 0-1 27, Tucker 0-1 2-2 2, Naughton 1-1 0-1 2, Myers 3-6 0-0 9, Crosson 5-7 4-5 16, Cleveland 2-3 0-0 4. Totals: 37-65 11-18 102.

        NKU — Clark 1-6 2-3 4, Sanders 10-17 7-7 32, Mitchell 5-11 0-0 10, Conley 1-5 5-6 7, Stowers 5-13 4-5 18, Lawhon 1-1 2-2 5, Schaefer 0-1 0-0 0, Norwell 10-15 8-8 28, Wieber 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 34-70 28-31 106.

        Three-point field goals: Grand Valley 17-29 (Bell 2-2, Smith 2-3, Flynn 3-5, Boucher 5-10, Naughton 0-1, Loveless 3-6, Crosson 2-2); NKU 10-22 (Clark 0-2, Sanders 5-9, Mitchell 0-1, Conley 0-2, Stowers 4-6, Lawhon 1-1, Norwell 0-1). Halftime score: NKU 50, Grand Valley 42. Records: Grand Valley (21-9), NKU (26-6).


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