Morton soars in for a first-half dunk during NKU’s 66-51
win over UC-Clermont. Morton scored a game-high 23 points
as the Norse improved to 5-1.
Ky. - The 3-pointers were not falling for Northern Kentucky University
on Saturday night, but Harrison Morton stepped up and made sure
the Norse avoided an upset against UC-Clermont.
23 points as NKU cruised to a 66-51 win over UC-Clermont in Regents
Hall. The Lexington, Ky., native poured in 18 points in the first
half and finished 8-for-15 from the field as the Norse improved
wouldn’t have been for Harrison, it would have been a really
ugly game,” NKU senior guard Mark Hawkins said. “He
got us off to a really good start and gave us a lift when the shots
weren’t falling like they usually are.”
NKU, the top
3-point shooting team in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, finished
3-for-22 from long range. The Norse were 1-for-11 in the second
half from 3-point land.
is shooting the 3-pointer, we really struggled and that is what
allows you to separate and give you the big lead,” NKU head
coach Dave Bezold said. “We’re lucky to come out of
here with a win the way we shot the ball.”
In the season
opener Nov. 16 against UC-Clermont, NKU bolted out to a 15-0 lead
en route to an 82-68 win. On Saturday, the Norse nearly equaled
that start by rolling to a 15-2 advantage after Morton’s dunk
with 13:50 left in the first half. NKU later stretched the lead
to 19-4 on a Vincent Humphrey tip-in basket.UC-Clermont,
however, countered with a 13-0 run to cut the NKU lead to 19-17.
Hurley is a heck of a coach, and I knew going in that he was going
to do something different to keep them in the game,” Bezold
said. “They felt like they could probably beat us after what
they did the last time we played them because they outscored us
over the last 35 minutes.
out to a 19-4 lead tonight, but David McFarland gets two fouls and
had to sit, and all of a sudden it is a game. What happens in a
game like this is UC-Clermont was very patient with the ball, and
if you’re not willing to do the same thing and you rush on
the other end, then you are going to allow them to get into the
game. That’s what happened.”
two of its first three attempts from 3-point range, NKU proceeded
to hit only one of its final 19 shots from behind the arc. UC-Clermont
used the scoring of Stefan Dunn (22 points) to remain in the game,
but NKU’s bench contributed 16 second-half points and the
Norse extended their winning streak to four.
scored all eight of his points in the second half, while Hawkins
added six of his eight points after the break. Hawkins also buried
a big 3-pointer with 8:15 left to give NKU a 49-37 lead.
like coach is always talking about - getting through adversity.
When the shots aren’t falling, you just have to find other
ways to put the ball in the hole,” Hawkins said. “We
had a few offensive rebounds and went to the basket instead of settling
for outside shots.We just have to find ways to fight through it.
We came together as a team and found a way to play through the slump,
and that’s why we won this game.”
just seven turnovers and defeated UC-Clermont (4-7) for the second
time this season. The Cougars shot 37 percent from the field and
committed 21 turnovers.
scored eight points for NKU, while Billy Finnell added six points,
three assists and three steals. Humphrey finished with five points,
six rebounds and three blocked shots.
NKU will play
host to Asbury (Ky.) next Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in Regents Hall.