Morton goes strong to the basket during NKU’s 74-68
win over Lewis on Thursday night. Morton scored 14 points
and grabbed five rebounds as NKU remained atop the GLVC East
Division at 9-2.
Ramstetter, NKU Sports Information
Ky. - Harrison Morton and Anthony Teague each scored 14 points as
Northern Kentucky University rallied to defeat Lewis, 74-68, Thursday
night in Regents Hall.
hit a 3-pointer with 13:20 left in the game to give the Norse their
first lead of the second half, 48-47, and the advantage held up.
The Norse improved to 15-3 overall, and 9-2 in the Great Lakes Valley
added 12 points and made all eight of his free-throw attempts for
NKU, which is in first place in the GLVC East Division. Lewis entered
the game ranked fifth in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region
Poll, one spot ahead of No. 6 NKU.
one of those tough games that we know we’re going to have
to play from here on out,” head coach Dave Bezold said. “Lewis
is a good basketball team, and they were ahead of us in the regional
rankings. That is the poll that I look at because it’s the
most important one.
in here knowing we had five games left at home, and we had to figure
out a way to win a basketball game tonight.”
the fastest coach in NKU history to reach 70 wins. Bezold is now
70-38 in his fourth season commanding the Norse bench. Former coach
Mike Beitzel reached 70 wins at game 117 in his fifth season.
freshman 3-point shooting sensation, finished with nine points on
3-for-6 shooting from behind the arc.
a lot of confidence and they were wide open shots,” Gagai
said of his treys. “They were all from loose balls and hustle
plays that got the ball back and that was a big key to getting me
open. I give all the credit to Scotty (Bibbins) and Billy (Finnell)
getting me the ball in those situations.”
Lewis held a
47-42 lead, but Mark Hawkins nailed a 3-pointer to cut the deficit
to 47-45 with 13:50 remaining. Gagai followed 30 seconds later with
another trey to give the Norse the lead for good, and Hawkins followed
with a free throw.
then hit a pull-up jumper to put the Norse ahead 51-47 with under
nine minutes left.
is our weapon,” Bezold said of the second-half surge. “I
think we caught one lead in the first half when we went up by one,
and then they went on that 7-0 run to end the half. In the second
half, we were very fortunate that our shooters got some great looks
and they knocked them cold. I thought we had some really good looks
throughout the second half but if you continue to do that and generate
the looks, the majority is going to fall. Once we got that lead,
I was very happy with our play defensively."
four 3-pointers, while Morton was 6-for-11 from the field and also
grabbed five rebounds. Williams scored six points and added three
Williams soars in for a first-half dunk during NKU’s
74-68 win over Lewis on Thursday night. Williams finished
with six points, four rebounds and three steals as NKU improved
to 15-3 overall.
DeAaron did a heck of a job on (Stephan) Bolt for a couple of possessions,
and we forced them into shooting quickly before the shot clock ran
out,” Bezold said. “We also stepped up and made some
big free throws. Harrison Morton made some big buckets inside for
us. He didn’t rely on the jump shot and was attacking the
hole and making big, big shots for us.”
The Flyers were
able to cut the lead to 51-50 with 8:40 left, but the Norse went
on a 9-2 run capped by Teague’s 3-pointer with 6:15 left to
give the Norse their largest lead of the game, 60-52.
Two Dennis Thomas
Jr. 3-pointers pulled the Flyers to within two, 64-62, with 2:40
left, but Morton hit a layup and Teague followed with another basket
after corralling his own rebound to give NKU a 68-62 lead with 46.2
second left, sealing the game.
played well,” Teague said. “The key to it is that he
played well down the stretch. He’s a versatile player who
can do a lot of things, which he did for us tonight to get the win.”
hailed the play of his teammates off the bench.
the guys coming off the bench picked us up really well. I can’t
take anything away from the bench play,” he said. “I
think it was the most important part of the game and won it for
us. Any time you have a bench that can come in and play just as
well as your starters, you’re a solid team.”
Lewis - which
started the game on an 8-0 run - led much of the night, including
a 40-32 advantage early in the second half. The Flyers closed the
first half on a 7-0 run and led 38-32 at halftime. NKU had rallied
to take a 32-31 lead on a Teague 3-pointer with 2:06 left in the
out slow and got down 11-3 at the beginning of the game, and they
used another 7-0 run to finish the half, so that’s an 18-3
advantage that I wasn’t pleased about at the half,”
Bezold said. “We came out in the second half and didn’t
make shots right away, but we got good looks and we played harder
and we were more focused, which I thought was the difference in
11 in the first half for the Flyers and finished with 15. Thomas
Jr. led the Flyers with 24 points, but Lewis fell to 13-5 overall
and 6-4 in the GLVC.
NKU shot 54.2
percent from the field in the second half and finished at 47.2 percent
for the game. The Flyers shot 50 percent in the second half and
49 percent for the game. Lewis also outrebounded the Norse, 29-27,
but was held to just nine boards in the second half.
The Norse will
host GLVC East Division preseason favorite Wisconsin-Parkside Saturday
in Regents Hall at 3:15 p.m.