NKU Bounce Back With a 88-73 Victory Over Texas A&M Corpus Christi
by Sean Mackey
The Northern KY Men’s basketball team were on a pre-Thankgiving day mission Wednesday night. After a disheartening 24 point loss on Sunday against their cross river rivals, the University of Cincinnati, the Norse bounced back with a sound victory over the visiting Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Islanders, 88-73.
NKU started the game with a fierce defensive approach which included several highly contested shots, a shot clock violation and a nasty at the rim block by Keeyan Itejere within the first 12 minutes of play. While the first 10 minutes of the first half were off to a smooth quick start, the last ten minutes were as grindy as they get with a barrage of fouls and free throws. The Norse were determined to take the ball inside and all the Islanders could do was foul. However, the strategy worked and NKU went 11-12 from the free throw line to give them a 41-30 lead at the end of the 1st half. Northern KY held the Islanders to 40% from the field and Sam Vinson led the team with 13 points going 5-5 from shooting and tagged on 2 rebounds and a steal in the first 20 minutes. Gary Clark of Corpus Christi filled the stat sheet during the first half with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
The 2nd half was once again slowed down by foul calls. A grand total of 47 fouls were called during this game and while it helped build the Norse’s lead, it led to a rather slow final 20 minutes at Truist Arena. Both teams were over the limit before the final ten minutes. At about the 13:00 minute mark, NKU broke the chains and started hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer. They lead 25-6 on fast break points. This helped build at one point a 24 point deficit. However, the free throw-palooza continued for the remainder of the game stopping any sort of momentum on either side of the court. Neither team relented in their zero inches-of-room defensive schemes. Sam Vinson continued his onslaught adding an additional 9 points during the 2nd half ending with 22 points & 4 steals. Marques Warrick continued his decent season so far with 21 points as well. Michael Bradley had a nice game as well chipping in 11 points, 7 assists and 3 steals off the bench. Garry Clark led Corpus Christi with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals.
After the game, NKU Norse Darren Horn said “It was a really nice response from our guys after a disappointing outing on Sunday. This was the kind of aggressiveness needed on the defensive end. It was good to see all of those things come together against Corpus Christi. It’s hopefully something we can build on.”
The Norse look to continue their winning ways this Saturday at Truist Arena when they welcome the Long Island University Sharks (11/25 4:00 p.m., ESPN+).