by Neil Meyer
This afternoon Northern Kentucky (0-1) welcomed in UC Clermont to Truist Arena for an afternoon showdown as the Norse would look to bounce back in the win column after falling to Kent State 79-57 on Monday. However, the Norse would have to do so without leading scorer Sam Vinson who was not available for this contest due to a left ankle injury.
UC Clermont would come out and attack the Norse zone early as they did a great job spacing the floor and getting the ball into Freshman guard Gavin Rabe’s hands early as he started 3-3 with 8 of the Cougars 13 first points, as the Cougars jumped out to a quick 9-0 run as they led the Norse 15-9 with 13:16 remaining in the first half.
The Norse would rally back as they continued to establish the ball inside as Chris Brandon was making his presence was known early as he started 4-5 from the field with a team-high 8 points as the Norse led the Cougars 21-20 with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half as the Norse got off to a slow start as they were shooting just 34% from the field and 12.5% from behind the arch in the first 14 minutes of play.
Northern Kentucky started to find their stride late in the first half as they jumped out to a 30-24 lead following a huge three-point play from Marques Warrick. The Norse were starting to push the tempo as they continued to get stops on defense as they erupted for a huge 10-point run to take a 35-24 lead over the Cougars.
The Norse would get off to a very slow start before turning on the burners late in the first half where they were led by Chris Brandon who had a game-high 12 points, on 6-7 shooting along with 7 boards as the Norse continued to pound the ball inside. The Norse shot 44% from the field in the first half but really struggled from behind the arch as they were held to 3-15 shooting. The Norse dominated the glass as they outrebounded the Cougars 22-8, including 13 huge offensive rebounds as they took a 41-28 lead to the break.
The Norse came out firing in the second half as they were really clicking on offense early as Warrick got the scoring started after scoring nine straight points to start the second half as the Norse took a 54-28 lead with 15:27 remaining in the second half following a 14-point run to start the second half and never looked back from there.
The Norse didn’t turn back after taking the lead late in the first half as the defense continued to get stops and push the tempo. The Norse would score 40 points off turnovers and that was the difference maker in this one as the Norse would hold on to defeat the Cougars 89-49. The Norse would be led by junior guard Marques Warren who finished with a game-high 26 points. Graduate student Chris Brandon also chimed in with 18 points on (8-9 shooting) while grabbing 12 boards in the Norse’s 89-49 victory
over UC Clermont.
The Norse now improve to 1-1 on the season as they will be back in action this Wednesday at 7 pm vs the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-0) in a crosstown rivalry matchup.