NKU Escape Detroit Mercy's Late Push to Win, 81-76

by Sean Mackey

The NKU Norse traveled to snowy Detroit, Michigan Saturday for an afternoon matinee against the Detroit Mercy Titans. Detroit Mercy sadly entered the game with a 0-17 record. The Norse were coming off of their epic comeback earlier this week at home vs Youngstown St. Going into the game the Norse were determined to improve their dismal road record this season even if it wasn’t pretty, coming home with a 81-76 over the Titans.

The first half was ugly to say the least. Neither team gave an inch on defense and both teams couldn’t get anything going offensively. NKU outrebounded DETMER 17-5 however, were never able to take complete advantage of their opportunities on the other end.. A couple of nice lob passes to Marquette transfer, Keeyan Itejere seemed to put some life into the game but every small victory was outlived by some running in place offense. NKU put DETMER on the line several times to slow down the pace. However, the Titans shot 10-10 and at one point took a 2 point lead over the Norse. However, NKU figured out their offense and mustered up 48% from the field after the first 20 minutes and led 34-30. Trey Robinson, Marques Warrick and LJ Wells all ended the first half with 8 points. Marcus Tankersley led the Titans with 12 points.

The final half was a slug fest until the last minute of the game. The Norse and the Titans traded the lead 7 times throughout the 2nd half. Both teams were unable to push a lead past 7 points the entire game. Detroit Mercy’s, Jayden Stone put on an absolute show, hitting some big time 3’s and mercilessly driving to the basket and drawing fouls. Speaking of foul shooting, the Titans free throws were the only thing that kept them in the contest. They finished the game with an incredible 25 for 26 at the line. However, it was NKU’s Trey Robinson who put the final touches on this snowy road win. After Stone hit a game tying 3 with less than 2 minutes left, the NKU guard hit a high flying layup to give them the lead for good. His tenacity the whole game carried NKU who’s star player, Marques Warrick only mustered up 14 points on a 5-12 shooting. Trey Robinson ended the game with 20 points going 7-9 from the field and 6-7 from the free throw line. LJ Wells had another nice game chipping in 20 points as well going 9-13 from the field. Detroit Mercy’s Jayden Stone led all scorers with 27 points (8-8 from the free throw line). Marcus Tankersley added 22 points as well.

The NKU Norse travel back to Highland Heights for their next game at home on Thursday (1/18, 7:00 p.m., ESPN+) against the visiting Milwaukee Panthers.

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