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Northeastern extends win streak to 4

December 17, 2011
Mid-Eastern Conference

LYNN, Ind. -- Andy Scripture took his hot streak to Randolph Southern on Friday night and Northeastern ran its streak to four straight wins as the Knights beat the nearby rival Rebels 63-45.

The past four meetings between the schools, only seven miles apart, were decided by no more than four points, as Northeastern snapped a two-game skid last year 45-41.

"This has been a good rivalry. It's a great rivalry, seven miles apart. This is on their home floor and I knew they wouldn't go down easy," Northeastern coach Brent Ross said. "They forced a lot of turnovers by us and caused us some problems, especially early in the ballgame."

Southern led most of the first period, building an 8-3 lead, before a six-point streak by Northeastern was capped off by a trey from Stephen Reed to give the Knights a 9-8 lead after the first.

Scripture was one of seven Knights to score, pouring in 29 points, including 14-for-14 from the free-throw line, to lead the team along with eight rebounds.

"It had nothing to do with the points that I was scoring, more as the team that we had, the defense we had," Scripture said. "We held them to a little amount of points, and defense wins championships. It's not a matter of how many points I scored, it's about how we played as a team on defense rather than one individual scoring."

Reed added 16 and Mason Slinker nine, while Collin Bell, Geoffrey Scruggs, Corey Dingwerth and Austin Pritchard also made baskets for the Knights.

On the other side of the court, the Rebels had only nine total on the roster and were hurt by foul trouble early.

"I think we're a little bit deeper than what they were, and we knew that coming in. We just tried to wear them out a little bit," Ross said. "I think I played 11, 12 guys and we really are able to do that a little bit early in the season. I think it's taken its toll on them."

The Rebels had three players with three fouls by halftime and five halfway through the third quarter.

Still, only two fouled out for the Rebels in Austin Pearson and Nate McKinney.

"I thought our guys handled that pretty well and actually played pretty well considering the foul trouble," Rebels coach Bronson Lickliter said.

Northeastern built a 28-21 lead at halftime and ran away with the game starting in the third, building a 42-30 lead.

"The key is, they want to play up-tempo, and in the first half, I think we slowed them down and kept it close," Lickliter said. "In the third quarter, they came out and got some good traps and some quick layups and wound up building that lead a little bit, which put us in a hole, along with the foul trouble. They did a nice job doing the things that they're good at."

Ian Gough had a big game of his own, leading the Rebels with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Alex Welch added eight points and Austin Pearson five. Clayton Retter, Jake Wissel and Baylee Farmer also scored for Southern.

"I was pretty impressed with (Gough)," Ross said. " ... He shot the ball really well and he shot the ball early well. He had a nice ballgame, he's a nice player at the post, and we've got to learn to guard better at the post."

The Knights (5-2) go for their fifth straight tonight as they host Seton.

"They're playing well. They came in this place and I came out here and watched them, they took care of business early in that game," Ross said. "They've got a great point guard in (Adam Schroeder) and it's not going to be easy. I told our kids, we have to bounce back.

"(The Cardinals) didn't play (Friday), so they're going to be a little fresher than us. This is our third week in a row with a double weekend, so we're going to have to be sharp and ready. It should be a good ballgame."

The Rebels (0-6) travel Wednesday to Lincoln. Despite an 0-6 start, Lickliter sees improvement in the Rebels' near future.

"The team attitude is good, and we're going to come out tomorrow ready to go at practice and to keep getting better, because we're nowhere near as good as we're going to be at the end of this season," he said.

"(Lincoln has) a couple nice players, and we're looking forward to playing them on Wednesday."

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