Northern Kentucky women’s basketball rings in the New Year with a road trip to Motor City, taking on Detroit Mercy on Thursday, Jan. 4. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with live streaming available on computers, tablets, smart phones and streaming devices through WatchESPN and the ESPN App.
Northern Kentucky (3-10, 1-1 HL) at Detroit Mercy (0-13, 0-2 HL)
Thursday, Jan. 4 – 7 p.m. ET
Detroit – Callahan Hall
Live Stats | ESPN3 Broadcast
LAST TIME OUT: The Norse pulled off one of the, if not the, biggest upsets of the season by taking down No. 19/20 Green Bay on Saturday afternoon, 62-54. Entering the game, NKU held an RPI of 307, while the Phoenix stood at No. 4, making it a 303-spot difference between the teams. It marked the first time that NKU had recorded a ranked win in Division I history, with the last ranked victory coming on Jan. 12, 2012 against No. 24 Missouri S&T. It is also just the second ranked win that any NKU athletics program had over a ranked opponent, after NKU baseball earned a road win at No. 12 Kentucky on March 29, 2016.
Three Norse scored in double digits in the victory, led by Taryn Taugher with 17 points and a clutch performance from the charity stripe with 9-for-10 free throw shooting. Molly Glick added 16 points and tied her career high of eight rebounds to lead the team on the boards, while Mikayla Terry rounded out the top scorers with 15 points highlighted by a pair of crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
GREAT WHITE SPARK: Though she played just one game during opening weekend due to being sidelined for the Green Bay contest from minor injury, Grace White’s performance against Milwaukee garnered the attention of the Horizon League office. The rookie guard was named the HL Freshman of the Week, making NKU the only institution this year to have two different freshmen honored after Kailey Coffey earned the distinction on Dec. 11. White led the Norse in several categories against the Panthers with a career-high 15 points, along with eight rebounds and three steals.
SCOUTING DETROIT MERCY: The Titans have undoubtedly faced their fair share of struggles this season, still searching for their first win behind a 0-13 record. Detroit Mercy opened up the Horizon League slate with a pair of 15+ point losses at Youngstown State and Cleveland State, allowing both teams to score 75 points. The Titans sit in the bottom-three of League standings in nearly every statistical category except for blocked shots, defensive rebounds and 3-pointers per game.
Brianne Cohen has been leading the team in scoring and rebounding, with 16.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, but the tandem of Anja Marinkovic and Lexey Tobel has also been contributing heavily. The two have the bulk of Detroit Mercy’s 3-pointers and have combined for nearly 6 on the season while sitting just outside double-digit scoring.
NKU and Detroit Mercy have met just four times in the all-time series, which dates back to when the Norse joined the Horizon League in the 2015-16 season. The Titans hold a 3-1 edge and swept the yearly series last season, narrowly edging the Norse in the last outing on Jan. 29, 55-53.
ROOKIES IN THE RANKS: NKU has had some key performances from its freshman class, which has come in to contribute right away. Two rookies lead the team in rebounding (Kailey Coffey – 6.6 rpg; Grace White – 5.2 rpg) to keep the Norse at a +6.7 rebounding margin over opponents, a number that ranks 51st in the nation. Coffey has the 10th-highest rebounding average in the Horizon League, and sits at fifth in the League with 2.8 offensive rpg. Samari Mowbray has also contributed heavily on both the offensive and defensive end, averaging 9.7 ppg at an impressive .464 clip, and is nabbing 1.5 steals per game.
TOP STATS: In addition to ranking fourth in the Horizon League in rebound margin (+6.7), the Norse are in the top-five of several statistical categories. In terms of defense, NKU ranks second in both scoring defense (57.5 ppg) and rebounding defense (30.4 rpg), the former of which ranks No. 41 nationally. The Norse rank third in terms of field goal percentage defense, both overall (.373) and from beyond the arc (.262), ranking 18th nationally in the latter. Finally, the Norse are ranked fourth in the League in offensive rebounds (12.8) and free throw percentage (.719).
Assistant Athletic Communications Director
Northern Kentucky University