The new-look Lady Norse took to the floor in their lone exhibition game against a very scrappy Cedarville University team on Wednesday evening, taking down the Yellow Jackets, 80-55.
NKU jumped out to a double-digit lead to end the first quarter and looked to put the game away by halftime leading 42-24. However, the Yellow Jackets were not ready to throw up the white flag, pressuring the Lady Norse into a handful of turnovers and converting them into points on the other end, eventually outscoring Northern Kentucky 20-15 in the third quarter to cut the Norse advantage to 57-44 heading to the final ten minutes. NKU regained what momentum they lost closing out the games on a 23-11 for the final margin.
The Lady Norse were led by EKU transfer Kalissa Lacy, who scored 25 points in her Northern Kentucky debut, followed by junior Kamari Mitchell-Steen with 16 and freshmen center Carter McCray with 10. Macey Blevins and Gabby Razzano each chipped in 7 points each.
Noticeably absent from the game was WKU transfer and local product Mya Meredith who was on the bench in street clothes sporting a knee brace. There is no information on how the injury occurred, but her availability for the season opener does not look promising.
With all the fresh faces on this NKU team, finding an identity, line-up and playing style remains a work in progress. That said, Northern Kentucky will need to clean up the turnovers and do a better job on the boards if they plan to build on last season’s success.
The Lady Norse will now focus their attention to Monday’s season opener at Truist Arena as they will welcome in the Indiana State Lady Sycamores. ISU was picked to finish eight in the 12-team Missouri Valley Conference and brings back three starters from last season’s team which finished 11-20 overall and 5-13 in conference. Those win totals were more than they had the previous two seasons combined.
The Lady Sycamores will be led by Bella Finnegan (8.2 ppg), Chelsea Cain (11.6 ppg / 5.7 rpg) and Mya Glanton (4.5 ppg / 4.4 rpg).
Just like NKU, ISU welcomes in 10 newcomers to this season’s team, which will be a mix of incoming freshmen and transfers via the portal.