The Northerner

NKU stays perfect with win

Stephen Wilder

Freshman guard Ryan Fleming finished the game with 4 steals and 5 rebounds.

Kevin Erpenbeck, Staff Writer

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Christmas came early for Northern Kentucky University, as the Norse head into their holiday break with a record of 9-0 after defeating Salem International 98-53 on Sunday.

The Norse started fast, jumping out to a 16-2 lead in the first half. Jon Van Hoose led the charge, as he hit five 3-pointers in the first half. Van Hoose had 17 points at the break, as NKU led 47-17.

Everything seemed to be going right for the Norse in the first half, as they held the Tigers (1-11) to just 21 percent shooting at halftime. Head coach Dave Bezold was proud of the performance his players displayed.

“I was happy for where we were defensively,” Bezold said. “We’ve been really good defensively in the first half in all of our games, and our focus in every position has been pretty good.”

NKU continued to run away with the lead, as they began the second half with a 23-6 run over the Tigers. From then on, it was cruise control the whole way as multiple players from the Norse contributed with points.

Van Hoose ended up with a career-high 22 points. Teammate DeAndre Nealy netted 15 points, while also claiming seven rebounds and six blocked shots. Tony Rack and Alex McGlothin finished with 11 points, while Chad Jackson, Ernest “Stretch” Watson, and Brady Jolly had 9 points each.

“Every game, we talk about getting good team shots,” Bezold said. “We’ve done a very good job of looking for each other and making sure that we don’t force things.”

Nealy says that hard work was the key factor in his team’s strong performance.

“Everybody contributed to our performance today,” Nealy said. “From the bench to the starters, we all just came in and played our hardest.”

NKU will resume action on Dec. 30 with a home game against Shepherd University (5-3).

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NKU stays perfect with win