(Photo Courtesy of Jeff McCurry)
As news broke of Northern Kentucky guard Jalen Tate suffering a hand injury at Practice yesterday, panic rose amongst Norse Nation on who could fill in the two-way production and lead the team. One game in without the senior guard, the Norse responded with big games from Tyler Sharpe and a career-high performance from junior Forward Dantez Walton.
Dantez Walton scored 24 points passing and was just one rebound away from his second career double-double. Walton was 5-8 from the arch contributing to the team's 50% shooting from three-point land. "The hoop looked big. My teammates got me open and I just stepped into it and made the shot." Walton said in regards to his shooting.
Tyler Sharpe also had 23 points going 6/12 from 3. "We took good 3's today." Sharpe said. "during the Coastal Carolina game we felt like when we got the ball moving, that was when the shots were falling. We put some emphasis on that tonight and you saw us get some good shots early in the game.
The Norse also got a nice contribution from grand transfer Karl Harris. Harris had 14 points and five rebounds along with three blocks. Harris had a highlight-reel block he claimed he had to catch up to the shooter to make happen that also lead to a staredown. If there was one point of the offense the Norse struggled with, and have continued to struggle with all season, it was their free-throw shooting. NKU shot 8-16 from the stripe and was something Head Coach Darrin Horn discussed post-game with the media.
"We haven't been good all year with that." Horn mentioned. "we gotta shoot them better and guys are putting a ton of time and getting extra free throws in and we gotta get to the line in games and knock them down."
NKU is now 3-1 for the season and will next play Wednesday night at Ball State. At the time of this writing, Ball State is 2-1 on the young season.
Jalen Tate breaks hand:
Northern Kentucky star guard Jalen Tate broke his non-shooting hand in practice on Saturday. Tate will have surgery on Monday and there is no timetable released for his return at this time.