Northern Kentucky gritted out a win, Friday night. Is gritted a word?
They were poor from behind the arc: until it mattered most. The Norse kept the game close, somehow, despite making just a pair of three’s for the first 31:28 of game time (Getting to the free-throw line fifteen times more than the Phoenix helped). They would proceed to drain five treys in the final eight minutes. Bryson Langdon led NKU from the bench. He scored 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 5-for-7 from behind the arc. Yeah, just two three-pointers were made by not-Bryson Langdon in Green Bay.
In case you’re wondering, Norse Sharpe-shooter, Tyler Sharpe (pun intended), was 1-for-8. If you were to ask those close to the team if NKU can win with him making just one shot, they’d have told you it would be tough.
Biggest reason fo the victory was the defense: and Dantez Walton was the leader, here. Dude’s been dealing with some injuries, as of late, but he looked healthy on Friday. He put together a double-double 15 points and 10 rebounds. The reason he was so important though was his defensive prowess as he notched three steals, a block, and nabbed eight defensive rebounds.
Special shoutout to Jalen Tate. The junior recorded the second double-double of his career, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 boards. Dude also drained a game-high seven buckets.
How that affects the standings: NKU creates some space between the five teams tied for third, in the Horizon League, and them. They do still trail Wright State by two games, for first place. The 32-point loss at the hands of the Raiders, last Friday, have the Norse behind the eight ball with eight games left in the regular season. NKU hosts Wright State for the final game of the regular season, on February 28th.