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Sports Notes: Todd’s history of success seems to be rubbing off on Morehead State program

Morehead State head women's basketball coach Greg Todd has the Eagles in third place in the Ohio Valley Conference race (MSU Athletics Photo / Larry Gooding)

Morehead State head women’s basketball coach Greg Todd has the Eagles in third place in the Ohio Valley Conference race (MSU Athletics Photo / Larry Gooding)


Morehead State women’s basketball coach Greg Todd is no stranger to success; he’s won big at every stop along his coaching career.

Todd, who’s in his first season as the Eagles’ boss, moved to the Division I program from Division III Transylvania, where he coached eight years, won four conference championships and made three NCAA post-season appearances, the first in the history of the program. Before that, he led Lexington Catholic High School to three KHSAA Championships while winning over 90 percent of his games.

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He also coached at Berea High School, where he won 20 or more games seven times. In 23 seasons as a head coach at the college and high school level, Todd is 558-156, a winning rate of over 79 percent.

Success at Morehead is harder to define (MSU was 31-57 over the last three years), but he seems to have the Eagles going in the right direction.

Morehead was 12-17 a year ago, 6-10 in Ohio Valley Conference play. This year under Todd, Morehead is 10-12, but has posted a 6-3 league mark, including a 76-58 decision over Eastern Kentucky Saturday that halted a five-game losing streak in the series with their long-time rivals. MSU has won four of its last five league games.

As a result, Morehead finds itself third in the OVC standings, trailing only Tennessee Martin and SIUE. The Eagles are thus far proving the preseason prognosticators wrong.

“We made the right adjustments at halftime, and I thought we played much better on defense too in the final half,” Todd said after the EKU game. “I think we are really seeing what this team can do. We were picked 12th in the conference, but we always felt this team was a lot better.”

As an added bonus, Todd gets to coach his daughter, Brooke, who tied her career-high with six points, added six rebounds and recorded a career-best five blocked shots against the Colonels. There are only two other father-daughter duos in Division I women’s basketball. The others are at Duquesne and Mississippi State.

Todd didn’t exactly leave the cupboard bare back at Transy. The Pioneers are ranked No. 15 in the latest Division III poll with an 18-1 record, including 12-0 in Heartland Conference play.

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Northern Kentucky’s Melody Doss had a memorable night despite the Norse losing an Atlantic Sun Conference game to Florida Gulf Coast last weekend. Doss became the 28th member of the 1,000-point club in a 67-46 setback.

Doss finished with 15 points, six rebounds and one block for NKU, which fell to 13-9 overall and 4-3 in the Atlantic Sun. Christine Roush added nine points and three rebounds while Shar’Rae Davis scored six points and pulled down five rebounds for the Norse.

Whitney Knight led the way for conference-leading FGCU, which improved to 20-2 on the year and 7-0 in the league, with 18 points and a game-high nine rebounds. NKU trails only FGCU and Stetson in the league standings. NKU will conclude its current homestand on Saturday, Feb. 7, with its homecoming game against Lipscomb as the first half of a doubleheader with the men’s basketball team. The women’s game will tip off at 4 p.m. with the men to follow.

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Kelly Wells became the first coach in University of Pikeville men’s basketball history to reach 200 wins recently when his Bears defeated Cumberland 75-54. High-scoring K.K. Simmons helped the coach, who is in his ninth season, reach the historic mark by tallying a game-high 24 points, including three 3-pointers.

Lindsey Wilson prevented the second-ranked Bears from giving Wells win No. 201, though. The Blue Raiders pulled a 98-93 upset Saturday at the Biggers Sports Center behind a career-high 27 points from D’on Hall.

Some clutch shooting from the free throw line helped the Blue Raiders secure the win. They converted six of eight attempts during the final 90 seconds.

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Kentucky junior pitcher Kelsey Nunley is one of 50 players named to the 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List by the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball.

Nunley, UK’s most valuable player in 2014, is on the watch list for the first time. She is only the second UK player to make the list, joining All-America honoree Molly Johnson-Belcher, who is an assistant coach for the Wildcats.

Nunley had the best season in program history a year ago, going 30-11 with a 1.88 ERA in 282.1 innings pitched. She was the winning hurler in all 10 postseason wins for Kentucky, including striking out seven batters in the Women’s College World Series against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The right-handed hurler, who tossed two no-hitters, set several impressive single-season marks last season, including first in wins and innings pitched.

In UK’s career rankings, Nunley – who is a junior – is first in ERA, second in opponent batting average, third in strikeouts, fourth in innings pitched, tied for fifth in saves, sixth in appearances and sixth in games started.

UK will appear in a program-record eight nationally televised games, including three games on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Kentucky will play on the new SEC Network five times, ESPNU twice and ESPN2 once. Seven of the eight games selected are conference games while the other is against Indiana. UK is one of four teams in the conference to be selected for three or more games on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Four of the games televised are home contests, including vs. Indiana (March 18) on SEC Network, vs. LSU (March 28) on SEC Network, vs. Alabama (April 4) on ESPNU and vs. Alabama (April 5) on SEC Network. Road games at Texas A&M (March 8) on SEC Network, at Florida (April 13) on SEC Network, at Tennessee (May 2) on ESPNU and at Tennessee (May 3) on ESPN2 will also be broadcast.

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Kentucky fifth-year senior third baseman Thomas Bernal has been named preseason All-Southeastern Conference by Perfect Game. The infielder enjoyed a breakout season last year as UK’s first baseman. With the departure of second-team All-SEC performer Max Kuhn to the MLB Draft, Bernal will slide across the diamond and fill the void at third.

Bernal played in 54 games with 51 starts as a junior, hitting .305 (62-for-203) with nine doubles, one homer and 32 RBI. For the third consecutive year, Bernal’s numbers improved in SEC play, where he hit .348 (39-for-112) with five doubles and a .398 on-base percentage.

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