Northern Kentucky women’s basketball wraps up the nonconference slate on the road at ETSU, concluding a three-game, four-day road swing for the Norse. Tipoff against the Bucs is set for 2 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 22. The game will be broadcast on the SoCon Digital Network.
Northern Kentucky (1-9) at ETSU (6-7)
Friday, Dec. 22 – 2 p.m. ET
Johnson City, Tenn. – Brooks Gym
Live Stats | SoCon Digital Network Broadcast
LAST TIME OUT: NKU suffered a pair of setbacks in the UNF Holiday Classic, falling to North Florida and Jacksonville. The Norse freshman class had consistent performances in Kailey Coffey and Samari Mowbray, who both scored in double figures for both games. Additionally, Coffey continued to be the team’s leading rebounder and Mowbray led on the defensive end in steals.
SCOUTING ETSU: The Buccaneers sit at 6-7 heading into Friday’s matchup, but have faced a nonconference lineup of opponents rife with Power 5 talent with losses to No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 14 Tennessee, Washington State, North Carolina State and Michigan State. ETSU has not played in nearly a week, but pushed the Spartans into overtime in the most recent outing on Dec. 16 before eventually falling at home, 83-74.
ETSU leads the Southern Conference in a variety of statistics, including scoring offense (71.8 ppg), rebounds per game (40.5), and turnovers forced (22.9). The Buccaneers are not only disruptive on defense to force turnovers, but the team tops the SoCon and ranks No. 11 in the nation with 12.8 steals per game. ETSU is also one of the best teams in getting to the charity stripe, sitting at third nationally in free throws attempted.
Laying the groundwork for ETSU’s potent defense are Erica Haynes-Overton and Tianna Tarter, who rank in the top-25 nationally with 4.00 and 3.23 steals per game, respectively. Tarter has been the main story line for the Bucs across the board, averaging 16.7 ppg and 4.2 assists per game to carry the tea offensively, while Haynes-Overton chips in 13.1 ppg.
The Norse have historically succeeded when pitted against the Bucs, holding an unblemished 5-0 all-time record. The two teams met up last year on Nov. 26 in Highland Heights, with the Norse claiming a 62-56 victory for head coach Camryn Whitaker’s first career win over a Division I opponent.
YOUNG BLOOD: With Mikayla Terry being the team’s lone senior, Northern Kentucky’s roster features 11 underclassmen in its 12 active players. That makes NKU one of the youngest teams in NCAA Division I, trailing only Alabama A&M with regards to percentage of underclassmen, as the Lady Bulldogs have 13 underclassmen out of 14 active players. The Norse also have one of the most freshman-laden rosters in NCAA Division I with 58.3 percent of the roster being rookie players. Only Fordham (64.3 percent), Savannah State (60.0 percent) and Air Force (58.8 percent) have higher ratios of freshmen on a squad. (Special thanks to Fort Wayne’s Brian Alden for compiling the corresponding data).
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 – 7.0 rpg; Grace White – 4.9 rpg) to keep the Norse at a +7.6 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 3.1 offensive rpg. Samari Mowbray has also contributed heavily on both the offensive and defensive end, averaging 10.2 ppg at an impressive .500 clip, and is nabbing 1.8 steals per game to rank seventh in the League.
TOP STATS: In addition to ranking fourth in the Horizon League in rebound margin (+7.6), the Norse are in the top-five of several statistical categories. In terms of defense, the Norse are the No. 2 rebounding defense team, allowing opponents to grab just 30.1 boards a game. NKU‘s 3-point percentage defense (27.7 percent) is ranked third in the League and No. 58 in the nation. The Norse also keep teams to 59.6 points (No. 74 nationally, third in HL) at 38.2 percent from the field (fifth in HL).
Assistant Athletic Communications Director
Northern Kentucky University