Finnell drives in for the final shot of the game against Drury
as defender Collins Harris steps in. Finnell made the shot
as the buzzer sounded, but he was called for a charge and
the basket was disallowed.
Ky. - This one literally was decided at the buzzer, and not by a
last-second shot. Instead, a charging call nullified the tying basket
as time expired Saturday, and Northern Kentucky University’s
eight-game winning streak ended in controversial fashion.
Tim Brown made
a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining to give Drury a 69-67 lead,
and the Panthers held on to defeat NKU when Billy Finnell’s
apparent tying basket at the buzzer was disallowed due to a charging
NKU (9-2 overall,
3-1 Great Lakes Valley Conference) gained a 67-66 lead with 20 seconds
remaining when Scott Bibbins converted one of two free throws. Drury,
which is ranked No. 6 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll, then
worked the ball inside to Chris Ijames, who kicked the ball out
to Brown on the left side for an open 3-pointer.
shot found the bottom of the net to give Drury a 69-67 lead.
After a timeout,
NKU put the basketball in Finnell’s hands and the junior guard
drove the length of the court and made a driving layup over Collins
Harris as the buzzer sounded. Finnell was called for an offensive
foul, however, and the basket was waved off, giving Drury (11-1
overall, 4-0 GLVC) the victory.
a 13-point lead in the second half, and we had opportunities to
extend the lead and we didn’t,” NKU head coach Dave
Bezold said. “We knew Drury was going to come back because
they’re a really good team, and that’s what they did.
Our inability in the second half to make free throws hurt.
our missed free throws were in the second half, and several in the
last couple of minutes. That really hurts because you’ve got
to be able to go to the line and make those shots.”
3-pointer with 16:52 remaining extended NKU’s lead to 46-33,
but Drury countered with a 12-3 run to cut the Norse advantage to
49-45 with 11:48 left in the game. The Panthers later used an 11-0
run to turn a 55-49 deficit into a 60-55 lead on Jamel Grant’s
3-pointer with 5:32 remaining.
Humphrey attempts a jumper.
made more plays than us down the stretch and that’s the bottom
line,” Bezold said. “We didn’t make free throws
when we had opportunities to extend the lead and put ourselves in
a situation where we had an opportunity to lose the game. And that’s
what happened. We needed one stop defensively and, for whatever
reason, we left a guy wide open and he knocked it down.”
and DeAaron Williams each scored 13 points to lead NKU, which lost
for the first time since a 66-53 setback to Findlay on Nov. 17.
Teague added 11 points for the Norse, who were 11-for-17 from the
free-throw line in the second half.
Adam White led
Drury with 18 points, while Harris added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Panthers avenged two losses to the Norse last season, one in
the GLVC Tournament and the other in the NCAA Division II Great
just got to build on this and learn from our mistakes,” said
Williams, who added five rebounds ands two blocked shots. “We
had opportunities to win the game, and it just wasn’t there
a good team. That’s all there is to it,” he added. “We
just didn’t close out the game like we should have. That’s
what we have to work on and mature as a team.”
NKU, which has
not played a road game since Dec. 1, will travel to meet Indianapolis
at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Norse continue the road trip Saturday
with an afternoon game at Saint Joseph’s. NKU returns home
Jan. 17 to meet Southern Indiana at 7:45 p.m.