Salem vs. Northern Kentucky: No. 21 Norse Win, Remain Undefeated

Monica FritschCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2011

DeAndre Nealy goes up for a dunk against Salem International in the second half.
DeAndre Nealy goes up for a dunk against Salem International in the second half.

With a 98-53 win over the Salem International University Tigers on Sunday, the Northern Kentucky University men's basketball team posted its best start since the 2002-'03 season, going 9-0. 

Several players came off of the bench to help the Norse to victory.

"We have really good chemistry," Freshman guard Alex McGlothin said. 

Strong play from the upperclassmen in the first half allowed some of the freshman such as McGlothin and Brady Jolly to get career-high scores of 11 and nine, respectively.

"I've been working hard, getting as much playing time as I can, to help the team as much as possible," McGlothin said.   

Senior guard Jon Van Hoose lead NKU with 22 points, a career high. Van Hoose went 8-for-13 from the field, including six three-pointers, five of which were in the first half. This, along with nine points and six assists by guard Chad Jackson, gave NKU a 47-17 lead at the break.

Senior center DeAndre Nealy was dominant in the paint, scoring 15 points, seven rebounds, six blocks and one steal. Nealy thinks there's room for improvement despite the fact that these accomplishments came in just 16 minutes of play.

"I can always do better," Nealy said.

McGlothin felt NKU could've done better in the second half, since the Tigers fared better offensively.

"We definitely could've tightened things up a bit," McGlothin said.

As a team, NKU shot 59.1 percent from the field, held SIU to 33.9 percent shooting and got 39 rebounds as a team. Next, they will host Shepherd University (W. Va.) on Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET.

Monica Fritsch is a Correspondent for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.