NKU Snap 3 Game Losing Streak, Beat Oakland 99-89
by Sean Mackey
NKU defeated the #1 seed in the Horizon League at home Thursday night with a victory over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies 99-89. The Norse were looking to bounce back from 3 straight losses on Thursday night over at Truist Arena. Star player, Marques Warrick continued to chase history with just 40 points needed to beat Drew McDonald’s all-time scoring record. Unfortunately, they were hosting a very tough, Oakland team who were winners of 3 straight.
The first half of this game was fast paced and fairly even throughout the first 20 minutes. Oakland’s Blake Lampman started off hot and scored 9 of his team’s first 13 points, however ended the half with 12 points. Warrick continued to press forward towards the record scoring 12 points as well. Oakland was able to build a 9 point lead after going on a late 10–0 run. While NKU were able to hold Oakland to just 38% from the field, they still continued to trail. The 10-0 run completely deflated the crowd in Highland Heights however, a last second buzzer beating 3 from Warrick woke up the crowd and the Norse trailed 38-40 at the end of the first.
The final half was all about shooting the 3 for Oakland. However, not always to the success they would have hoped going 6-22 during the second half. During one maddening sequence the Golden Grizzlies shot 1-10 on 3s however continued to retrieve the 50-50 balls. A made and-1 by Oakland resulted in boos from the crowd; however, NKU pressed forward. Trey Robinson grinded to the hoop, as did Michael Bradley. NKU finally took a very short lived 1 point lead after a free throw make by Robinson however, Oakland proceeded to go on a 9-2 run to give the Golden Grizzlies a 75-69 lead. After only scoring 4 points in the first half, Trey Robinson went on a scoring barrage, dropping 16 in the second half. After a hard foul, a technical was called on Blake Lampman and Robinson sank 2 free throws and hit an inside shot to give NKU the lead. Oakland’s Trey Townsend hit a free throw to tie the game at 80. With 18 seconds remaining, NKU had possession. Marques Warrick threw up a 3 but missed at the buzzer resulting in an 80-80 tie and overtime.
The Norse broke the chains and went nuclear during the extra period, outscoring the Golden Grizzlies 19-9. While the game was close for the first 2 minutes of overtime, the Norse had the upper hand for the remaining 5 minutes. After a fade away 3 from Oakland’s Jack Gohlke, the NKU lead was cut to 90-87. The Norse went on one final run and Michael Bradley delivered the knock out blow with a short jumper to give NKU the lead for good.
Trey Robinson ended the game with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists & 3 steals. Michael Bradley led the team in scoring with 26 points and chipped in 8 assists as well. Warrick ended with 20 points as well. Oakland shot 14-49 from the 3 point line and Blake Lampman led all scorers for the Golden Grizzlies with 24 points, 9 assists and 3 steals.
After his second double double of the season, Trey Robinson said “My teammates trusted me, they were finding me in the middle and there were a lot of open spots. We went on a little run and I played my tail off.” NKU Head Coach, Darrin Horn said “Michael Bradley was absolutely off the charts. To get 26 points, 8 assists and just 1 turnover is really special. It was a total team effort and really happy for our guys to pull it out in the fashion that they did. Good to get back on the right track after losing 3 in a row."
Marques Warrick will make a run at NKU history on Saturday afternoon when the Norse welcome the Detroit Mercy Titans to Truist Arena (2/10, 4:00 p.m., ESPN+).