Warrick & NKU Bury Milwaukee Panthers 90-72
by Sean Mackey
After a short road trip, the NKU Norse traveled back home to Truist Arena for a showdown with the Milwaukee Panthers on Thursday night. Both teams were coming off wins from last weekend and were sporting nearing identical records. However, the NKU Norse put on a high scoring show, defeating the Panthers 90-72.
The first half was a back and forth slug fest. Both teams came out shooting hot; however, the Panthers were never able to take the lead within the first 20 minutes of play. Marquette transfer, Keeyan Itejere had a couple of highlight reel lobs and a few missed opportunities as well. Guard, Michael Bradley had the most impact on both ends of the court though. He put up 12 points going 4-5 from the field and harassed the other team’s offense for 5 steals. Trey Robinson remained hot from his team leading 20 points last Saturday afternoon, with 10 points to start the first half. Both Erik Pratt and Elijah Jamison both put up 14 points for Milwaukee. At one point, the Norse pushed the lead to 8 however, led 46-41 at the end of the first half.
During the final half, Northern Kentucky did everything it could to keep the lead. The Norse endured hard fouls driving to the basket however, continued to to pound the ball inside. The Panthers continued to foul. 11 fouls were committed in the final half by Milwaukee alone, 20 total by the end of the game. The Norse went 20-26 from the free throw line which ended up being a huge difference maker. While the lead was slim for several stretches of the game, the Panthers were never able to take it away from Northern KY once. At about the 5 minute mark during the 2nd half, Marques Warrick threw up a near half court lob to Itejere for a devastating jam. That one play woke up a quiet Truist Arena and ignited a final 10 point run for the Norse that they would not turn back from. After a shot clock beating (from the logo) three pointer from Michael Bradley, the game was effectively over.
Five members of NKU ended the game in double figures. Marques Warrick (who’s currently chasing NKU’s all time scoring title) led the Norse in scoring with 21 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. Michael Bradley also had an excellent game dropping 18 points, 5 steals and 4 assists. Trey Robinson recorded another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Elijah Jamison led the Panthers with 22 points and 5 rebounds.
After the game, Robinson said “We knew that their bigs weren’t as physical as ours, that was our mindset all along. We kept going inside and it worked out well.” “We had zero deflections in the first 7 minutes so we just wanted to speed it up”. NKU Head Coach, Darrin Horn told the media room “This is a team that’s starting to grow. Win or lose, we’re seeing progress. This was our most complete game of the season. You can see it in the box score. I’m hoping the crowd continues to come out and watch. This team is pretty fun to watch.”
NKU look to make it 3 in a row on Saturday evening against the visiting Green Bay Phoenix (1/20, 6:30p, ESPN+).