Sunday, March 30, 2003

Snardon finds positives in loss

Frosh enjoyed excitement of title game

By Matt Humphrey
Special to the Enquirer

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - To say Northern Kentucky freshman Sharell Snardon felt bad is an understatement.

She really felt bad after South Dakota State's 65-50 win in the NCAA Division II championship game at St. Joseph Civic Arena.

But the pain wasn't too intense for the freshman phenom from Louisville. After all, she was the only Norse player named to the all-tournament team and she led Northern Kentucky in scoring during two of its three games in St. Joseph.

At the postgame press conference, Snardon still was trying to process what happened in front of a crowd of 2,556 fans.

Pain or no pain, the freshman couldn't contain her, well, happiness.

"It was exciting," Snardon said. "All the fans surrounding you and hollering at you, making comments, stuff like that I feed off of. You guys sitting out there listening to me talk and everything, that's exciting."

Snardon certainly displayed some excitement on the floor, too. Although South Dakota State held a distinct advantage inside - and pounded Northern Kentucky players who dared to play in the paint - Snardon kept returning for more punishment.

She finished with 12 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots in just 23 minutes off the bench. As seniors Kristin Polosky (five points) and Bridget Flanagan (eight points) struggled in their final game, Snardon at least helped the Norse keep it within 20 points.

"I didn't go out there and try to do anything special," Snardon said. "I just went out there and played."

And yelled. And kicked. And banged around inside against South Dakota State's imposing frontcourt. During one NKU possession in the first half, Jackrabbits senior Melissa Pater and Snardon wrestled each other to the floor.

It was a moral victory, at least, against a player who scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

In the second half, Snardon swatted away a layup from SDSU sophomore Shannon Schlagel.

Snardon followed that block with a loud "arrrrgh" directed at a section of Jackrabbits fans who were hanging over the handrail in the first row.

After her roar, she smiled and winked at those same fans who jeered her incessantly.

"I played in front of bigger (crowds) in high school," she said, "but this is more important then when I played in front of bigger (crowds)."

LONG-RANGE FAILURE: The 3-point arc wasn't kind to either South Dakota State or Northern Kentucky on Saturday. The Jackrabbits hit just two of 18 3-pointers, while the Norse hit only four of 20.

BACK TO NORTH CENTRAL: South Dakota State ended a drought Northern Kentucky started in 2000. The Jackrabbits became the first team from the North Central Region to claim the national championship since 1999.

NKU's season results


NKU OpponentOpp
62Grand Valley State63
86at Findlay52
73Missouri-St. Louis43
79at Kentucky Wesleyan62
65at Bellarmine71
96Wayne State64
50at Indianapolis 69
80at Saint Joseph's65
82at Missouri-St. Louis62
98at Southern Indiana82
77Saint Joseph's74
67at SIUE70
71at Quincy63
87Southern Indiana62
73Kentucky Wesleyan62
73at UW-Parkside75
81at Lewis59
71vs. UW-Parkside (Conf. Tourn.)67
54vs. Quincy (Conf. Tourn.)66
69vs. Grand Valley State (NCAA)63
66at Indianapolis (NCAA)57
64vs. Quincy (NCAA)61
65vs. Washburn (NCAA) 53
45vs. California (Pa.) (NCAA)43
50vs. S. Dakota St. (NCAA)65

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NCAA tournament notes
NCAA Tournament at a glance
Lady Vols, 'Nova meet Monday in Mideast final
Norse outmuscled in Division II final
Snardon finds positives in loss
Northeastern State 75, Kentucky Wesleyan 64
Georgetown, Ky. 71, Lee, Tenn. 58

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IN: Indpls Pike 65, DeKalb 52

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