Norse rebound after loss to West Virginia, win big over UC-Clermont


Kody Kahle

NKU men’s basketball player Anthony Monaco faces a defender during the first half of NKU’s 42-67 loss to West Virginia University. NKU was defeated by West Virginia University 42-67 at The Bank of Kentucky Center on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014.

NKU’s men’s basketball team looked to bounce back from their 25-point loss to West Virginia last weekend by defeating UC-Clermont on Sunday afternoon. The team did just that, defeating the Cougars by 54 points by a score of 107-54 at The Bank of Kentucky Center.

 NKU improved on their shooting percentages from the last game, shooting 55.1 percent from the field, and 51.6 percent from the beyond the three-point line.

Deontae Cole led the Norse with 15 points, while shooting 71 percent (5-for-7) from beyond the arc. NKU’s season-leading scorer Tayler Persons scored 11 points, three rebounds and three assists in the win.

“It’s just about being confident in myself,” Cole said. “Coach [Bezold] said to always be confident in my shot and get ready to shoot.”

“To see it (NKU’s shooting) come together today was really rewarding,” Head Coach Dave Bezold said. “One of the most frustrating things this season is the consistency of shooting, and it got us against West Virginia.”

Bezold was pleased with his team’s performance in rebounding from the loss to West Virginia.

“Coming off finals, we had one practice with everyone there,” Bezold said. “So with limited practice, this was a really good game to get guys some court time.”

NKU got the scoring started early, leading 6-0 within the first minute of the game on a pair of three-point baskets from Dean Danos and Cole. Cole would go into the halftime having gone 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.

Out of the halftime, the Cougars began on an early 5-0 run to pull within 15 of NKU going into the first timeout taken in the second half.

NKU began pulling away after the first media timeout, going on a 14-2 run before UC-Clermont called a timeout after back-to-back Norse three-pointers from Tyler White and Todd Johnson.

NKU outscored UC-Clermont 58-25 in the second half after leading 49-29 at halftime. Tyler White was the Norse leading scorer in the second half with 10 points.

This is the 81st time in school history that the Norse have scored at least 100 points, going 74-8 when reaching the century mark. The win also marks the first 100+ point scoring performance for the Norse since the transition into Division I athletics.

NKU’s 107 point performance is also the third time they’ve scored at least 100 points against UC-Clermont. In the last match-up against the Cougars, the Norse won 106-58 on Nov. 13, 2011 at The Bank of Kentucky Center.

The Norse will travel to Chattanooga on Dec. 16 and to Morehead State on Dec. 19 before returning home to take on Idaho, who the Norse defeated earlier in the season, on Dec. 22. The time of the Idaho game was changed to 6:00 p.m. to accommodate the Cincinnati Bengals’ Monday Night Football game against the Denver Broncos.