HIGHLAND HEIGHTS- Mike Kelsey and Jesse Rupe combined for 42 points Saturday as Northern Kentucky University posted an 86-75 win over Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) College in Regents Hall.
Kelsey scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half as NKU rallied from a 45-41 deficit with 19:01 remaining in the game. Rupe, who hit all nine of his attempts from the field, scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and also added four blocked shots.
Rupe keyed a 22-7 run early in the second half with six points as NKU built a 63-52 lead. Adam Howell and Steve Purdon added five points eachduring the spurt.
With NKU holding a 73-63 lead with 7:38 remaining in the game, Blake Schoen drained a three-pointer to cut the Saint Joseph’s deficit to 73-66. Schoen then added a jumper to bring the Pumas within 73-68, but Rupe responded with a pair of baskets to push NKU’s advantage back to 77-68.
NKU (13-8 overall, 6-5 Great Lakes Valley Conference) held Saint Joseph’s to just 35.9 percent shooting from the field in the second half.
The Norse also made 50 percent of their shots from the field after halftime.
Pat Cary added 12 points and nine rebounds for NKU, which has beaten Saint Joseph’s (8-10, 4-7 GLVC) three straight times. Howell finished with 10 points, and Purdon added eight points and seven rebounds.
Corey Seegers led Saint Joseph’s (8-10 overall, 4-7 in the GLVC) with 22 points and eight rebounds. Derek Fey added 18 points for the Pumas, who had upset 13th-ranked University of Indianapolis on Thursday.
Kelsey now has 1,040 career points and moved up to 22nd on the NKU all-time scoring list.
He surpassed the 1,000th point mark with a 24-point performance against Wisconsin-Parkside. Kelsey is just the 23rd player in NKU history to reach such a mark.
Kelsey led the Norse over UW-Parkside by a score of 72-67. The Norse bettered their reecord to 16-4 all-time versus the Rangers, and 9-0 at Regents Hall.
NKU will play host to Bellarmine University in the homecoming game next Saturday night at 7:45 p.m. in Regents Hall.
The men stand in fifth place in the GLVC with a 6-5 conference record.
They have key matchups against SIUE and Lewis at home in Februrary, before rounding out the season with games on the road against St. Joseph’s, Indianapolis and Kentucky Wesleyan in the final two weeks of the seaason.
The halftime ceremonies, Saturday, will include the crowning of the homecoming King and Queen, as well as organization spirit awards being given out to the student organization with the most spirit.
– Article by Sports Information, Kyle Burch contributed to this article