The day was Friday, January 17, 2020. I was sitting in BB&T arena the town hall the NKU norse WBB team leading Wright State, the second place team in the conference at the moment by multiple possessions. Angel Baker, a peak 5 player in the league, no hurting us all the much. She had 14 points. The Norse were scoring turn off of turnovers, they to be rebounding the ball well – they were making shots at a “winable” clip. With 1:00 staying in the third quarter, Taylor Clos captured a pass from Ivy Turner and hit a 3 reminder with 57 secs left in the quarter. That 3 placed the Norse increase by 11, and 57 seconds later on the 3rd quarter ended with a 9 allude lead because that NKU.

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If girlfriend would have left the game at the moment, by the time you gained home and checked the score, you would have been left scratching your head. The Norse would certainly go on come shoot 6% because that the 4 minutes 1 (1/16) v their only made basket coming turn off of a Taylor Clos make 3 with 4:40 left. The Norse included 3 FTs to their suggest total, scoring just 6 points that quarter. ~ above the flip side, angel Baker woke up, scoring 15 points on 6/7 shooting (including 2/2 FT) and also Wright State would outscore the vikings 23-6 in the quarter, 25-6 in the last 10:57 that the game. 

It was one of the an ext heart-breaking and frustrating accident I’ve proficient as a pan – and my guess is the coaches and also players haven’t experienced many more frustrating losses in their careers either.

This team would be set to confront a familiar foe in the next week. I’m no talking about on the court. This to be an adversary that this team has actually grown quite familiar with staring down. And also when it pertains to this adversary – this women space undefeated.

Photo by: Chloe Smith, NKU Athletics

“The Flower that Blooms in Adversity is the Rarest and also Most Beautiful the All”

Most people know this expression from the Disney movie Mulan, an tremendous story the a Chinese woman farming up in Dynasty-era China, a time when women were seen as second-class citizens. After ~ Mulan conserves the life of the emperor, the coined this expression – among the most iconic in Disney’s cinematic history.

But what this the beginning of the phrase?

While that is true the the expression was created by Disney because that the movie Mulan, it actually DOES have real significance. The expression is an allusion come the Prunus mume, or Plum flower which is a flower native to eastern Asia and also blossoms in the late winter and also early spring. The is a symbol in eastern Asia together it symbolizes beauty, beauty after tremendous struggle.

Photo by: China Daily

The seed is Planted

This team is no stranger come adversity. In reality – they’ve been taking care of it going ago to critical season. As I’ve stated in previous posts, that battle is well-documented and also I don’t really want to write around it yet it is far-ranging in that it lugged this team closer together. There was a line attracted in the sand, and also there is a group of females who made decision to was standing together, and you can not quantify the bond the creates. “Teammates” was a expression that would certainly no longer be applicable. These women came to be sisters.

Winter comes Early

The Norse began the season in the worst that ways. An initial of all, their returning All-Freshman Team PG Ally niece was unavailable because that the very first game. She made her return in the 2nd game the the season against St. Louis, coming turn off the bench, yet was quickly removed because of what appeared to be a head injury, and if so, likely headed right into concussion protocol. She would go on to miss the following 2 games, offering her only a total of just 3 minutes played in the team’s an initial 4 games. It should come together no surprised to anyone who knows how vital Niece is not simply to the team as a whole, but specifically the offense, that the norseman would start the season in an 0-4 hole.


Resurgence and Growth

Not a minute too soon, Ally nephew would go back to the rotation the very next game against Omaha (20 minutes turn off the bench) and central Arkansas (22 minutes) prior to finally gift re-inserted into the starting lineup as the team’s allude Guard versus Jacksonville State (only 19 minutes). The norseman would win all three of those games, add to another against FIU in i m sorry Niece lastly cracked the 30-minute mark, record 33 minutes played for the game. This would even the Norse out at 4-4, heading right into a Herculean task: facing #2 Louisville. 

Though the Norse would go top top to lose this video game by 28 points, the last score does no tell the full story. They shed the an initial quarter 22-16, but won the 2nd quarter 19-15, heading right into halftime only down by 2 points. The 4th quarter was also kind to the Norse, together they only lost it by a score of 17-13, but the result of this video game was determined by a 31-9 third quarter. Again, you must read between the present with teams sometimes, and also what was apparent from the town hall this game is the the Norse to be a talented team who played do not be afraid – yet sometimes reckless.

The vikings would finish out their non-conference slate by walk 2-0, winning in ~ Indiana State through a 2-point margin and beating Wofford at residence by 8.

After starting the season 0-4 without one of their best players, the vikings turned around and also went 6-1, with their only loss gift to a team who is likely to be playing basketball deep right into March. Not a negative response.

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During the 6-1 run, the Norse averaged 42.2% native the field, 38.5% from 3, 8.2 assists, and also 68.67 clues per video game in your wins – compared to 31.3%, 22%, 5.5 assists, and also 54.5 points per game in your 4 losses throughout the 0-4 run. Ns would take into consideration that “resurgence and also growth”, i will not ~ you?

photo credit: The Northerner

Cold as Ice

The bitter winds the winter whipping, much like the Plum blossom the Norse would certainly be wilted by the Phoenix. The Norse’s shooting percentage definitely was reflective of the weather, together they shot 25% indigenous the field and 19% indigenous 3. (So really, it to be like… hovering roughly freezing temps every day, which isn’t as cold as I’m making it sound but for the benefits of the story simply bear with me, okay…?) eco-friendly Bay was a formidable opponent, and also NKU was never going to win a video game shooting favor that. They’d must bounce back, quickly. Conference games are like money in mid-major hoops.

They Push, us Punch

As every the normal the Norse would take a hit appropriate to the chest, place there because that a quick second, gain a determined look on your face, and also bounce best up and start punching back. This played out precisely how you’d hope it would, together the Norse would wind increase winning their next 2 games by a total of 31 point out (61-49