The Northern Kentucky men’s basketball team began the season in style by opening with a one-point victory over the Ball State Cardinals on Wednesday night in BB&T Arena. The Norse captured the 74-73 win thanks to major assistance from Adrian Nelson with only several seconds remaining as he nabbed his 19threbound of the night on an offensive board that eventually secured the victory.
- Nelson had a career-night with an impressive 19 rebounds, 10 on the offensive end of the court and nine on the defensive. His second-career double-double was rounded out by adding 10 points for the Norse off 4-for-8 (50 percent) shooting from the floor and 2-for-8 (25 percent) shooting from the charity stripe.
- Trevon Faulkner tallied a team-best 17 points on the night, going 6-for-11 (54.5 percent) from the field and 1-for-3 (33.3%) from three-point range. He added four boards in his 24 minutes of play.
- Marques Warrick contributed 14 points, all of which were counted in the first half. Warrick was one of three Norse, along with Bryson Langdon and Trey Robinson, to dish out four assists.
- Robinson and Adham Eleeda also reached double figures in scoring with 11 and 10, respectively.
- With 22 seconds remaining on the clock, Langdon received a pass at the left wing from Robinson and knocked down a vital three-pointer as the Norse reclaimed the lead in what would eventually mark the final score of the game.
FIRST HALF SUMMARY
- NKU opened up the 2020-21 season with a hot 7-0 start against Ball State. The Norse maintained the lead until the 10:33 mark in the first half, until the score was tied at 19 apiece.
- The Norse and the Cardinals doubled up on field goal percentage, both going 50 percent from the field. The two teams were not far apart from each other in attempts and makes as the home team went 16-of-32 and Ball State shot 15-of-30.
- NKU dominated time spent with the lead, only allowing Ball State to capture 47 seconds with the outright lead.
- Faulkner ended the first half with 13 points upon shooting 4-for-8 (50 percent) from the field and nabbing a solo three from beyond the arc.
SECOND HALF SUMMARY
- Despite the Cardinals taking a six-point lead late in the second half, the Norse rallied a victory thanks to key rebounding efforts. NKU outrebounded Ball State 25-24, with two offensive rebounds helping to secure the win in the final seconds of the game.
- The lead was also overcome by impressive shooting from deep range as both Eleeda and Langdon sank three-balls to tie up the game and take the lead, respectively.
- NKU bested Ball State in 3-point field goal percentage for the second half, with the Norse shooting 20.0 percent compared to the Vikings 16.7 percent performance.
- Nelson earns his second career double-double with 19 rebounds and 10 points, and his 10th career double-digit rebounding game. Nelson’s last career-high rebounding night and first career double-double both took place at UIC on January 10, 2020, where he snatched 15 rebounds and added 13 points. He ended his season last year with nine games in double-digits in the rebounding column.
- NKU went 4-2 last season in games decided by four or fewer points and the team went 10-1 last season when scoring between 70-79 points. The Norse add on to those statistics in the win column with this one-point, 74-73, dub over Ball State.
- This is the second-straight season opener with a freshman breakout performance. Warrick’s 14 points and four assists stack up against Langdon’s debut last season as he scored 20 points and picked up two assists against UC Clermont on November 5, 2019.
- NKU finished the game with a total of 43 rebounds obtained. The Norse averaged 36.6 rebounds per game last season.
The Northern Kentucky women’s basketball team lost a close overtime game to Cincinnati in its season-opener, 67-73. NKU falls to 0-1 for the season, while the Bearcats start their season 1-0 on the year.
- Ally Niece led the Norse with 17 points on 7-for-14 shooting (50 percent). Niece also chipped in two assists in her 35 minutes of play.
- Grayson Rose dropped two three-pointers on the Bearcats to score 8 points, going 3-of-8 (38 percent) from the field.
- Kailey Coffey led the team with 8 rebounds, four of which were from the offensive glass.
- Ivy Turner contributed nine points and had a steal on the defensive end.
- In her NKU debut, Lindsey Duvall contributed 13 points behind 4-of-6 shooting from the floor and 5-of-6 at the charity stripe.
FIRST HALF SUMMARY
- Carissa Garcia notched the first points of the new season with a fast-break layup 30 seconds into the game.
- Niece and Emmy Souder put up four and three points, respectively, from there to go up 9-8.
- Turner finished off the close first-quarter with a layup, giving NKU an 11-8 lead.
- To kick off the second quarter, NKU went on a 9-0 run fueled primarily with six points by Turner.
- The Norse lead held steady from there after both sides traded buckets. NKU went into the break leading, 26-17, with 13 of their points coming off of Bearcat turnovers.
- NKU shot 36 percent in the first half through a 10-for-28 (36 percent) mark from the field.
SECOND HALF SUMMARY
- Cincinnati had scores on three-straight possessions to open the new half, but NKU kept the bearcats in check with a layup by Garcia and a jumper from Niece, followed by two more free throws by Garcia.
- The Bearcats trimmed the Norse lead from eight down to three with 6:45 left in the quarter. Fortunately for the Norse, they rebounded with a pair of layups and a free throw by Souder, bringing the NKU lead back to eight points with 4:50 to go in the third.
- Duvall ended the third quarter with a shot from down low, putting the Norse up 44-37 heading into the final ten-minutes.
- Cincinnati broke out to a 7-2 mini-run to kick off the fourth quarter. Duvall and Niece stopped the bleeding with three free throws and a made jump-shot, respectively.
- The Bearcats continued their creep and eventually tied things up at 51 at the final media timeout.
- Rose had a pair of clutch shots fall in the final minutes, but Cincinnati answered to tie the game up at the end of regulation.
- The Norse forced the Bearcats into 10 turnovers in the second half.
- The Bearcats stampeded through a 12-3 run to begin overtime, giving them the 68-59 edge with 1:56 left. NKU’s only points in that span came through a layup by Duvall and a free throw by Coffey.
- Niece and Duvall contributed another pair of buckets to make it a two-possession game with 1:04 to go in the period.
- The Norse brought it to a three-point game after makes by Turner and Duvall, but Cincinnati held on with an and-one bucket in the final seconds to win the game.
- The final half proved to be the most impactful, NKU scored 41 points in the third quarter, fourth quarter and overtime, while the Bearcats scored 56.
- Duvall’s 13 points is a new career high. Her last best was nine against Tennessee State on December 12, 2017, when she played for Louisville.
- The last time NKU had an overtime matchup was in 2018, where they had back-to-back overtime contests against UIC (Jan. 21, W, 61-53) and Wright State (Jan. 28, L, 68-63).
- NKU had 21 points off the bench, 42 of its 67 points in the paint and 16 points off of turnovers.
The Norse travel to Akron for their second game of the season on Tuesday, Dec. 1.