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NKU tops Chattanooga 87-71
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (WKRC) -- Northern Kentucky placed six players in double figures Sunday afternoon and cruised to an 87-71 victory against Chattanooga.
Jordan Jackson scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Northern Kentucky, which shot 66.7 percent from the field. The Norse (2-7) rallied from an early 14-4 deficit with a 21-5 run to build a 25-19 advantage.
"Take away the first two minutes of the game, and I thought we really played well," Norse head coach Dave Bezold said. "We had tremendous balance and did a great job of finding the open man. That's a great sign when you have six players in double figures, and that's why we were so successful."
Freshmen Dean Danos and Cole Murray ignited the Northern Kentucky spurt in the first half by scoring seven points apiece. Northern Kentucky owned a 41-38 halftime lead after shooting 62.5 percent from the field. Jackson added six points before intermission for the Norse.
Northern Kentucky used a 19-0 run in the second half to turn a 48-45 advantage into a 67-45 lead. Tyler White keyed the spurt by draining a pair of 3-pointers, while Jackson scored six points during the run.
The torrid-shooting Norse made 70.8 percent of their shots from the field after the break, including 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. Northern Kentucky also finished with a 43-17 advantage in points off the bench.
"We started out slow, our starters didn't come out ready to play, so our bench really came in and picked it up for us, and after that we just put it together," Jackson said.
Jalen Billups and Anthony Monaco each added 12 points, while Danos, White and Jake Giesler all scored 10. The Norse owned the backboards and finished with a 33-22 rebounding edge.
Martynas Bareika led Chattanooga (4-7) with 29 points. The Mocs shot 36 percent from the field but were 28-for-29 at the free-throw line.
Northern Kentucky and Chattanooga had not played since 1977, when both programs competed at the NCAA Division II level. The Mocs still hold a 7-4 lead in the all-time series with the Norse. Northern Kentucky is now 4-2 all-time at home against Chattanooga and have won the past two meetings with the Mocs.
Sunday marked the first time Northern Kentucky had shot 60 percent from the field since Feb. 12, 2012 (a 77-66 win at Lewis in Romeoville, Ill.). The Norse had not placed six players in double figures since Jan. 7, 2012 (a 91-59 win over Rockhurst in The Bank of Kentucky Center).
Northern Kentucky continues its three-game homestand Wednesday night when Hampton visits The Bank of Kentucky Center at 7 p.m.
Image and information courtesy of NKU Athletics