Courtesy of NKUNorse.com
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Northern Kentucky University men’s basketball team overcame a double-figure deficit in the second half to defeat Milwaukee in the final minutes, 75-71, on Saturday in front of a raucous Homecoming crowd at BB&T Arena. With the win, NKU improves to 9-14 overall and 5-7 in the Horizon League. Milwaukee dips to 15-9 overall and 6-5 in league play.
A triple from Todd Johnson handed the Norse their first lead of the game at 66-65 with 6:19 to play. A Milwaukee basket gave the Panthers a brief advantage until Jalen Billups converted a layup that helped NKU outscore the Panthers 9-4 throughout the remainder of the contest.
Tyler White sealed the win with a triple with nine seconds left in what turned out to be a special night for the senior guard, who also joined NKU’s 1,000-point club in the first half.
Billups led four NKU players in double figures with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go with six rebounds.
Cole Murray posted 15 points of 5-of-7 shooting from behind the arc. Lavone Holland II followed with 12 points and four assists, while White turned in a complete game with 10 points, five rebounds and six assists.
White’s first big moment came at the 15:32 mark of the opening half, when he became the 25th Norse to join the 1,000 career point club with a driving layup. NKU then forced four Milwaukee turnovers in a two minute span, but struggled to take advantage on the offensive end.
A pair of Panther runs allowed Milwaukee to take a 32-20 lead with six minutes left in the half. NKU shifted the momentum in the final minutes of the period, connecting on four of its last five attempts while Milwaukee went 2-of-8 to close the half.
NKU trailed 39-32 at the intermission and then by 11 with 10:59 remaining. NKU outscored Milwaukee 26-11 the rest of the way as the Homecoming crowd of 4,048 came to life.
NKU returns to action Thursday, Feb. 11 when they travel to take on League-leading Valparaiso at 8 p.m.
- Drew McDonald came just shy of a double-double with eight points and eight rebounds.
- With his 5-of-7 performance tonight, Murray is shooting 69.6 percent (24-of-35) from long range across the last six contests. He entered Saturdays’ game shooting 47.9 percent from behind the arc this season, good for eighth in the nation.
- The last time NKU won a game after trailing by double figures in the second half was on Jan. 17, 2015 against USC Upstate, where the Norse came back from 13 down with 15-minutes left.
- At the game’s first media timeout, NKU Athletics announced a five-year partnership with adidas. The Portland, Oregon-based company will be the official athletic footwear, apparel and accessory brand of the Norse through the 2020-21 season.
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