Norse Top 100 Points for Third Time in Rout of UC-Clermont
The Northern Kentucky University men's basketball team peaked the century mark for the first time this season as it crushed UC Clermont, 107-53, on Sunday afternoon at The Bank of Kentucky Center.
Deontae Cole ended up the leading scorer with 15 points on the game, including four three pointers in the first half, but it was a balanced affair for the Norse as 14 of their players scored on the day.
The Norse demonstrated good ball movement, consistently finding the open man for good looks. NKU finished the game shooting 55 percent on the day and were 16 for 31 from three-point land. After not shooting very well the last two games at home, Norse head coach Dave Bezold did not feel great about his team's shooting coming into the contest, but enjoyed watching his team make so many baskets.
“The last two practices, we did not shoot the ball very well,” he said after the game. “To see it come together today was really rewarding. When you make those shots, it relaxes you on both ends of the floor.”
The difference in talent and size was immediately apparent as UC Clermont simply did not have the athletes to truly compete with the Norse. Once NKU got hot from the outside early with Cole and guard Dean Danos sinking threes, the game was essentially decided in the game's first 10 minutes.
Some of the players that don't see a ton of minutes in other games, got an ample chance to showcase their abilities on Sunday. Danos made the most of his opportunity, giving Coach Bezold quality minutes as the sophomore guard finished with 11 points and five rebounds on the day.
Team leading scorer, freshman Tayler Persons finished with 11 points off of the bench.
Another player that flashed with his impressive athleticism was sophomore forward Daniel Camps as he proved faster and stronger than the UC Clermont frontcourt players and jumped over anyone in his way. Camps only finished with six point but is an astounding player to watch leap over crowds around the rim.
Defensively, NKU put the clamps on a UC Clermont offense that seemed to find no rhythm and run no systematic offense. They kept the Cougars to shooting only 28 percent from the field on the afternoon and forced nine turnovers.
“The defense was good,” Coach Bezold said. “We did hold them below their average they had against other teams, but we are still fouling too much and that's concerning to me.”
NKU ended with 21 personal fouls, and center Jalen Billups picked up some early cheap ones again in this game.
The Norse (4-5) hit the road to Tennessee where they will play UT-Chattanooga on Tuesday and then return to the Bluegrass State to play Morehead on Friday. NKU returns home to play Idaho next Monday. The Norse beat the Vandals earlier this season at their place in November, 79-74.
-Bryan Burke, associate editor
Photo via NKU