(Photo Credit: Jeff McCurry)
In one of the longest games in NKU history (2 hours, 40 minutes), the NKU Norse (4-2) fell to the Texas Southern Tigers (1-4) 98-96 in a double overtime thriller at BB&T Saturday night. Tyrik Armstrong lead the Tigers to their first victory of the season and ruined two career nights from the Norse with 25 points (including the game winning layup) along with 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals.
After trailing by one point at the half, the Norse went on a 12-0 run in the second half however, bad turnovers from both teams continued to keep the contest close for the remainder of regulation. Bryson Etienne of TSU hit a 3 to tie the game at 77. With 7.5 seconds left in the 2nd half, NKU's Tyler Sharpe was called for a double dribble. A last second heave from nearly half court from the Tigers went in however, the basket was deemed late by officials and the first overtime began. The Norse were forced to start overtime without Trevon Faulkner who fouled out by the end of the regulation. Faulkner tallied a career high 24 points.
Dantez Walton kept the Norse afloat with his 3 point shooting during the contest (6-11) including an incredible 4 point play during the first overtime. However, almost immediately after that offensive sequence, joined Faulkner on the bench with his fifth foul. Walton tallied a career high 33 points along with 10 rebounds. Tyrik Armstrong hit 2 free throws which tied the game at 89. With 6.3 seconds left, Tyler Sharpe missed the go ahead 3 pointer and overtime number 2 began. Bryant Mocaby made a clutch 3 during the two overtimes. However, Tyrik Armstrong and Yahuza Rasas kept coming at the Norse. Sharpe made a layup (goal-tend) with 17.7 seconds left to tie the game at 96. However, on the other end Tyrik Armstrong hit a layup to put the Tigers up by 2 and the Norse were unable to get off a shot before the buzzer sounded.
After the game, Dantez Walton said that Texas Southern was "pretty hungry coming out of the gates" (being 0-4). When asked what it's like to have to sit out and watch an overtime from the bench, said he trusted his teammates on the floor at all times. Coach Horne said they put up a "relatively good fight" however had 22 turnovers, and need to figure out how to play with more grit. Horn singled out Tyler Sharpe who had 3 key turnovers in overtime which Horn deemed "unnecessary". The Norse coach attributed the loss to a bad practice the day before and said they've got do a better job of grabbing the ball after being out-rebounded 53-37. The coach did praise Faulkner and Walton's play and said "without their great strength and versatility, the Norse wouldn't have made it to overtime".
The NKU Norse play the visting Midway Eagles (3-5) next at BB&T on Monday 11/25 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 3.