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NKU defeats Tulane in overtime, 91-86
NEW ORLEANS (WKRC) -- Northern Kentucky's early-season schedule had the Norse well prepared for Saturday nights road game against Tulane.
Having Jalen Billups dominating the inside helps, too.
Billups scored 13 of his career-high 25 points in overtime as Northern Kentucky collected its first victory of the season with a 91-86 win over previously unbeaten Tulane in Devlin Fieldhouse. The Norse, who had faced Purdue, then-No. 1 Kentucky, unbeaten San Diego and Morehead State to begin the season, rallied from an early 10-point deficit and used the inside scoring of Billups in overtime to defeat the Green Wave in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Tulane (4-1) took a 72-70 lead with 9.7 seconds remaining in regulation when Jay Hook drove inside for a basket. Northern Kentucky (1-4) responded as Tyler White went the length of the court and converted a driving layup with 3.9 seconds left on the clock to force overtime.
In the overtime, Billups went to work inside. The 6-foot-6 sophomore controlled the paint with five baskets, including a thunderous dunk. Billups, in fact, did not miss a shot in the extra session and finished 10-for-11 from the field with seven rebounds and three blocks.
Jalen was incredible inside, Norse head coach Dave Bezold said. He absolutely took the game over. We did a good job of getting him the ball, and he finished. Jalen is a very talented player, and he was just dominant in the overtime. Its a tremendous win for our program. The guys hung in there, played very tough and its always great to win on the road.
Cole Murray buried five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 17 points for the Norse, who shot 56.6 percent from the field. White added 13 points and a career-best seven assists for Northern Kentucky, which connected on 85.7 percent of its shots in the overtime.
Jordan Jackson finished with 11 points and four assists for the Norse, while teammate Anthony Monaco dished out a career-high seven assists.
We had a number of players step up and give us great effort, Bezold said. Tulane started off very fast, was up 10 points, but our guys kept battling and good things happened.
Saturday nights game was part of the Cure UCD Classic, a five-team tournament. Tulane began the tournament earlier in the week by defeating Cedarville, 68-58.
Hook led Tulane with 29 points, and Jonathan Stark scored 24. The Green Wave shot 49 percent from the field and was 31-for-43 from the free-throw line.
Northern Kentucky concludes the Cure UCD Classic next weekend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with games against Southeast Missouri State (Nov. 29) and Texas State (Nov. 30). Both of those games will tip off at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Information and image courtesy NKU Athletics/ Kody Kahle