The NKU Men’s basketball team defeated the Green Bay Phoenix Thursday night, 87-65. NKU remains in first place in the Horizon league standings with the win and moves to 17-4 overall and 7-1 in Horizon League play. Green Bay moves to 10-11 overall and 4-4 in the Horizon League.
Sophomore center Chris Vogt had a career night for the Norse recording 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Junior forward Dantez Walton was right behind Vogt with 17 points and 6 assists, while junior guard Tyler Sharpe recorded 14 points.
Neither team pulled away from the other early in the first half. With 15:32 remaining in the first half, Green Bay led by a score of 9-8 and the one-point difference continued with 11:29 remaining in the first half with a score of 17-16 favoring NKU.
With 8 minutes remaining in the first half senior center Drew McDonald left the game with a leg injury, then Vogt was inserted into the lineup and became the spark the Norse needed.
“I knew I had to step up when I saw Drew go down, and it was just a next man up mentality,” Vogt said. “My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball.”
“We all told Chris in the locker room that he just figured out what we already knew,” Head Coach John Brannen said. “We knew what kind of player he is, and now he has to use this to build on the future.”
It was unclear the extent of McDonald’s injury, Coach Brannen was not able to provide an update on the matter.
The Norse started the second half with an 8-0 run, but the Phoenix answered right back with a 13-0 run of their own to cut the NKU lead to 66-57, with just under six minutes left to play. NKU pulled away with a closing run to seal the win 87-65.
NKU out rebounded Green Bay 44-28 and racked up 24 second chance points. Along with the success on offense, NKU held Green Bay on defense. Green Bay shot 38 percent from the floor and only 20 percent from beyond the three-point line.
Coach John Brannen credited the bench with the way the team closed the game. “With Drew going down and Jalen Tate not having his best game, the bench stepped up and that’s what a program is supposed to do.”
NKU is back at BB&T arena on Saturday, Jan. 26 against Milwaukee. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm and can be seen live on Fox Sports Ohio.