Norse Pick Up Second Win, Beat Chattanooga, 87-71
Northern Kentucky placed six players in double figures Sunday afternoon and cruised to an 87-71 victory against Chattanooga.
Jordan Jackson scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Northern Kentucky, which shot 66.7 percent from the field. The Norse (2-7) rallied from an early 14-4 deficit with a 21-5 run to build a 25-19 advantage.
"Take away the first two minutes of the game, and I thought we really played well," Norse head coach Dave Bezold said. "We had tremendous balance and did a great job of finding the open man. That's a great sign when you have six players in double figures, and that's why we were so successful."
Freshmen Dean Danos and Cole Murray ignited the Northern Kentucky spurt in the first half by scoring seven points apiece. Northern Kentucky owned a 41-38 halftime lead after shooting 62.5 percent from the field. Jackson added six points before intermission for the Norse.
Northern Kentucky used a 19-0 run in the second half to turn a 48-45 advantage into a 67-45 lead. Tyler White keyed the spurt by draining a pair of 3-pointers, while Jackson scored six points during the run.
The torrid-shooting Norse made 70.8 percent of their shots from the field after the break, including 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. Northern Kentucky also finished with a 43-17 advantage in points off the bench.
"We started out slow, our starters didn't come out ready to play, so our bench really came in and picked it up for us, and after that we just put it together," Jackson said.
Jalen Billups and Anthony Monaco each added 12 points, while Danos, White and Jake Giesler all scored 10. The Norse owned the backboards and finished with a 33-22 rebounding edge.
Martynas Bareika led Chattanooga (4-7) with 29 points. The Mocs shot 36 percent from the field but were 28-for-29 at the free-throw line.
Northern Kentucky and Chattanooga had not played since 1977, when both programs competed at the NCAA Division II level. The Mocs still hold a 7-4 lead in the all-time series with the Norse. Northern Kentucky is now 4-2 all-time at home against Chattanooga and have won the past two meetings with the Mocs.
Sunday marked the first time Northern Kentucky had shot 60 percent from the field since Feb. 12, 2012 (a 77-66 win at Lewis in Romeoville, Ill.). The Norse had not placed six players in double figures since Jan. 7, 2012 (a 91-59 win over Rockhurst in The Bank of Kentucky Center).
Northern Kentucky continues its three-game homestand Wednesday night when Hampton visits The Bank of Kentucky Center at 7 p.m.
NKU WOMEN FALL TO BUTLER, 53-47
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ijeoma Uchendu and Taylor Schippers combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Butler University women's basketball team to a 53-47 victory over Northern Kentucky University at Hinkle Fieldhouse in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon.
Uchendu set career highs with 14 points and 14 rebounds and collected three blocked shots, while Schippers added 16 points, three rebounds and three steals for Butler (5-5).
Kelley Wiegman scored a career-high 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the floor to lead NKU (4-5), and she grabbed five rebounds and added two steals.
"Kelley played really, really well for us," NKU head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. "Down the stretch, she was a kid that got to the rim for us and made a lot of good things happen. I thought she did a great job defensively and played very, very hard. She is going to continue to get better as time goes on."
Both teams struggled to get into an offensive rhythm in the first half, but NKU used a 12-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Kayla Thacker at the buzzer, over the final 2:46 of the half to turn a 21-15 deficit into a 27-23 lead at the break.
The Norse shot just 26.7 percent from the floor, while the Bulldogs went 8-for-22 (.364) in the opening stanza but turned the ball over 13 times to just seven turnovers by NKU.
Butler opened the second half with a 10-3 run to regain the lead at 33-30 with 11:48 remaining in the game, but NKU answered and tied the game for the ninth time at 37-all with 8:12 left. The Norse stretched their lead to seven (45-38), the largest lead of the game, less than four minutes later.
The Bulldogs, however, responded with a 10-0 run to take a 48-45 advantage with 1:28 left to play. Schippers drained a 3-point field goal as NKU was called for a foul away from the ball, and Uchendu connected on both free throws to end Butler's spurt.
The Bulldogs would extend their lead to 51-45 with 21 seconds remaining on free throws by Mandy McDivitt. Thacker would cut the lead to four (51-47) with a layup 10 seconds later, but McDivitt would answer with two more free throws to hold on to the win for Butler.
"I thought our kids played extremely hard, and the tough part was that it wasn't our defense that let us down," Plitzuweit said. "Our kids really worked their tails off defensively, pressured the ball, and did a great job on the glass."
The taller Bulldogs finished with a slight 40-37 edge in rebounds and blocked eight Norse shots on the day.
McDivitt finished with nine points for the Bulldogs, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Daress McClung, who entered the game averaging 16 points, was limited to just five against the Norse.
Thacker finished with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals, and Christine Roush added nine points and five rebounds for NKU. Butler held Melody Doss, who entered the game leading the Atlantic Sun Conference by averaging 21 points per game, to just two points on the day.
Morgan Blair and Kelsey Key both recorded their first collegiate points on free throws and finished with two points each for the Norse.
Butler now owns a 2-1 record in the all-time series between the two schools and has won the last two meetings.
NKU returns to Indianapolis on Wednesday as the Norse face IUPUI at 5 p.m. Live stats, video and audio will be available at nkunorse.com.