Nights like this are why kids will want to play at NKU in the near future.
A live, nationally televised game on ESPN2 in a very competitive conference where the Norse continue to flex their power over the Horizon League where they defeat conference rival Wright St. in a game that was a fight until the end. What's more impressive about this win is that it took Northern Kentucky a half of play to get things going.
Wright St. held a 30-27 lead over the Norse going into the half. Northern shot 8/28 in the first half and were just 2 of 15 from three in the half. Star forwards Drew McDonald and Dantez Walton were a combined three of 13 in the half and the Norse offense was really struggling to get going. But the Norse never wavered with their struggles and kicked into gear in the second half.
The Second half was the Jalen Tate show for the Norse. After busting open his elbow and changing his jersey to the #1 from his regular #11, Jalen did his finest Penny Hardaway impersonation scoring 14 second half points and going 6 of 6 from the field. "Lucky number uno I guess" Tate had said to me after the game tonight. When I asked him about his ability to get to the rim so far this season Tate had this to say. "In the off season we definitely put a lot of emphasis on my finishing with both hands off of 1 and 2 feet and we know we have bigs that can shoot it on a lot of ball screens for threes so there man has to stay connected and all of us guards can get down hill so we work on that a lot."
The Norse also got a nice boost from their other 6th man tonight, Norse Nation at BB&T Arena. "Obviously an electric crowd tonight." Coach John Brannen said starting his post game presser. "I wanna start off by saying how appreciative I am of our fans for coming out in droves, and the white out. This is what College Basketball is supposed to be. This is what College Basketball in a region that loves Basketball is supposed to be."
With tonight's victory the Norse now sit at 14-4 overall with a 3-1 Horizon League Record tying them for first with Detroit Mercy who they defeated last week. Next up for the Norse, their Northeast Ohio road trip with a Thursday night game against Cleveland St. and a Saturday evening tip-off at Youngstown St.