On the heels of moving into the NCAA Division II national rankings at No. 23 on Tuesday afternoon, the Northern Kentucky University men's basketball team defeated the Ohio Midwestern College Rams, 96-52. The win propelled NKU to a 23-0 record against non-conference opponents in the Bank of Kentucky Center.
The NKU Norse got off to a slow start, allowing six unanswered points in the first two minutes. Guard Nick McCoy was the high scorer for either team, scoring 27 points.
"We weren't mentally prepared," sophomore guard Chad Jackson said.
"We kind of overlooked the team."
The Norse got back into the game, though, going on a 16-2 run, building a 16-8 advantage. Junior guard Eshaunte "Bear" Jones scored the first basket of the game and a career-high 25 points. This included going seven-for-eight from the three-point range. Jones said that he's experienced a high-scoring game only one other time, against Brigham Young University. However, Jones doesn't pay attention to the stats.
"The win was better than the score," Jones said.
Head coach Dave Bezold doesn't hesitate to point out why Jones is an asset to the Norse.
"Jones has the ability to really score a lot of points in a hurry, and his shooting was outstanding,” Bezold said in an interview on NKU's website.
Jackson contributed to the Norse win in many ways during his 22 minutes of play. He lead the team in assists, with 10. He also scored eight points, six rebounds and four steals.
"I think that's what I'm supposed to do," Jackson said.
"That's one of my goals or jobs on this team."
Senior center DeAndre Nealy put up 13 points for the Norse, while senior and freshman guards Jon Van Hoose and Paul Byrd, respectively, scored 11.
Next, the undefeated Norse (7-0) will host Urbana University on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Bank of Kentucky Center. This will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams, and the last meeting saw the Norse defeat the Blue Knights, 95-74.