Northern Kentucky women’s basketball looks to make a streak out of its last two Horizon League wins when the team travels to Oakland on Saturday, Jan. 6. Tipoff is slated for 3 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 (4-10, 2-1 HL) at Oakland (8-6, 1-2 HL)
Saturday, Jan. 6- 3 p.m. ET
Rochester, Mich. – Athletics Center O’rena
Live Stats | ESPN3 Broadcast
LAST TIME OUT: The Norse took on the dangerous task of facing a team hungry for its first win, but kept Detroit Mercy at arm’s reach in a 78-67 win. Taryn Taugher led the Norse for the second-straight game, dropping 20 points on 55.6 percent shooting from the field, 60.0 percent from beyond the arc, and was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Kailey Coffey added a career-best 17 points, while Molly Glick and Jazmyne Geist also scored in double digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively. NKU shared the wealth in assists, with Coffey, Geist, Mikayla Terry and Grace White all recording three dimes apiece, and the Norse continued their hot shooting from long range with nine 3-pointers on 20 attempts.
SCOUTING OAKLAND: The Golden Grizzlies sit at 8-6 overall, but are in the bottom half of the early goings of the Horizon League standings after suffering losses to Cleveland State and Wright State. In last night’s outing, the Raiders ran away with a 20-point road win, 77-57. Though not a highly defensive team in terms of scoring, the Golden Grizzlies are some of the best in the nation in steals per game (10.4), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.262), turnovers forced (19.8) and turnover margin (5.1).
Taylor Gleason leads the defensive charge with 2.57 steals per game, tops in the Horizon League and No. 62 nationally. The senior guard also dishes out 4.5 assists per game and is the second-leading scorer with 11.6 points per game. Oakland’s high-powered offense averages 72.1 ppg, with five players averaging double figures led by Sha’Keya Graves with 12.9 ppg. The team has also done well from long range, with Graves, Gleason and Cierra Bond combining for 76 of the team’s 99 3-pointers made.
Northern Kentucky has met up with Oakland 10 times in the history of the two programs, with the Golden Grizzlies on top, 7-3. However, the series has been tied since NKU’s transition to Division I, with NKU sweeping the yearly series in the 2015-16 season and Oakland taking both meetings in the 2016-17 campaign.
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 53rd in the nation. Coffey has the ninth-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 9.4 ppg at an impressive .456 clip, and is nabbing 1.6 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 (58.1 ppg) and rebounding defense (30.6 rpg), the former of which ranks No. 49 nationally. The Norse also rank third in field goal percentage defense (.374) as well as fourth in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.282), ranking 56th nationally in the latter.
Since the start of Horizon League play, NKU has revved up its offensive intensity and finds itself in the top-five in HL games in scoring offense (63.0), field goal percentage (.390), 3-point field goal percentage (.365) and 3-pointers made (7.7 per game), among other statistics.
Assistant Athletic Communications Director
Northern Kentucky University