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NKU Women fall to Western Kentucky

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (WKRC) -- Chastity Gooch and Alexis Govan combined for 36 points and 23 rebounds to lead the Western Kentucky University womens basketball team to a 74-64 victory over Northern Kentucky University on Saturday night at The Bank of Kentucky Center.

Gooch scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Lady Toppers, while Govan added 16 points and seven rebounds.  Micah Jones and Bianca McGee each scored 10 points to help Western Kentucky improve to 4-1 on the year.

I thought our opponent was very talented and we really had our hands full tonight, NKU head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said.  Theyre such a good team offensively that when we missed assignments, they seemed to make us pay every time."

Melody Doss led NKU (2-3) for the fifth consecutive game with 19 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots, despite getting into early foul trouble.  Lauren White finished with a career-high 18 points and went 14-for-18 from the free throw line.  White's 14 made free throw attempts were one shy of the single-game record of 15 set three separate occasions.

I think Lauren has the ability to help us with the tempo of the game, she has the ability to push the ball up the court, and now its a recognition piece for her. Plitzuweit said.  Shes going to learn and shes going to get better.  I think she can help us defensively; she had a lot of rebounds tonight.  Her development is going to continue over the course of the season.  I thought she played well, and I think she plays hard.

Western Kentucky closed the first half with a 10-4 run to take a 41-31 lead into the break.  The Lady Toppers stretched their lead to 51-34 with 15:12 remaining in the game on a layup by McGee, but the Norse responded with a 13-4 run capped by a Christine Roush jumper to cut their deficit to six (55-49) with 7:24 left.

Gooch, the reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week, then responded on the next play following a Western Kentucky timeout with a jumper in the middle of the lane to end the NKU run.  A fast-break jumper by Govan, the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Player of the Year, extended the Lady Toppers lead back to double digits (59-49) with 6:49 to play.

The Norse cut the deficit under 10 four more times but could get no closer than eight the rest of the way.  NKU committed only nine turnovers on the night, while forcing 18 by Western Kentucky to stay in the game.

Offensively for us, to our players credit, we took care of the ball.  Thats sometimes hard to do when youre not making shots, and we didnt do that tonight, Plitzuweit said.  I felt like we had some good looks, and they just didnt fall for us.

The taller Lady Toppers finished the night with a 47-34 edge in rebounding and limited NKU to 29 percent shooting from the floor.  The Norse were 4-for-19 (.211) from behind the 3-point arc and converted on only one out of seven attempts during the second half.

Kayla Thacker added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Sarah Kinch finished with a career-high nine points, four rebounds and three steals for the Norse.

With the win, Western Kentucky now holds an 11-8 advantage in the all-time series between the two programs.

NKU travels to Moon Township, Pa., on Friday to participate in the Robert Morris Thanksgiving Classic.  The Norse take on the host Colonials at 1:30 p.m. and conclude the two-day tournament against Tennessee-Martin on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.  Live stats and audio for both days, including video on Friday, will be available on nkunorse.com.

Image and information provided by NKU Athletics

 

 

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