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IUPUI beats NKU MBB in first game of the weekend behind Burk’s 27 points

Marcus Burk was 6-7 from three in the Jaguars’ victory

January 15, 2021

IUPUI senior guard Marcus Burk proved why he is considered one of the most prolific scorers in the Horizon League on Friday night at BB&T Arena, pouring in 27 points to lead the Jaguars past the Northern Kentucky Norse men’s basketball team 74-69. The win was the first for IUPUI in conference play during the 2020-21 season.

For the Norse, the loss represents their third consecutive defeat, following last weekend’s two-game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland State Vikings.

NKU was led on the offensive end by freshman guard Marques Warrick, who contributed 20 points on 8-13 shooting from the field. Junior guard Trevon Faulkner led the team with nine rebounds, while also scoring 19 points of his own. The duo’s 39 points were more than the rest of the team had combined.

According to Faulkner, for the Norse to be able to return to their winning ways the team needs to compete on both ends of the floor on a more consistent basis.

“We just need to come together and compete and do what we need to do to get a dub,” Faulkner said.

The Norse held a slight advantage at halftime, leading the Jaguars 30-28, though the team shot just 2-12 from three-point range, while turning the ball over 10 times. The key to building the lead was holding the Jaguars to just 32.1 percent from the field over the half, and limiting their go-to scorer, Burk, to just nine points.

The second half became a different story.

Burk exploded for 18 points in the second half, connecting on four threes in the process. IUPUI as a team shot an outstanding 66 percent from three in the half, and over 50 percent from the field during the final 20 minutes. The Norse were also outrebounded in the second half by IUPUI, leading to nine second-chance points in the half.

“We didn’t do a good job on the glass, they got a couple easy ones off of kick-outs,” Head Coach Darrin Horn said. “That’s where our team is going to really have to grow up and toughen up a little bit, to be able to go out and execute those things the way we need to.”

Horn addressed the current three-game losing streak that the Norse are on by explaining that the team has to improve on every level in order to win important conference games.

“We have got to play better. We have to coach better as a coaching staff and our players got to play better,” Horn said. “We can’t look around and try to figure out who is going to get the job done. The guys that are on the floor have to get the job done.”

Because of the new scheduling format introduced for the 2020-21 season, the Norse and the Jaguars will meet again tomorrow night at BB&T Arena, tipping off at 6:00 p.m. for the second game of the two-game weekend series. 

Horn said the Norse will need to execute better on the offensive end in order to salvage a split with the Jaguars, who came into play on Friday night tied for last place in the Horizon League standings.

“We left a lot of empty baskets or points in transition again tonight, where we just don’t go finish the ball or go make the right play,” Horn said.

Tomorrow night’s contest between the Norse and the Jaguars can be seen live on ESPN3, as well as heard on the radio at FoxSports1360.

Note: The Northern Kentucky women’s basketball team remains on pause after a positive COVID-19 test was detected within the program’s Tier 1 personnel. The team’s games this weekend against Robert Morris have been canceled. The Norse are currently scheduled to play again next weekend against Illinois-Chicago for a two-game set if they are cleared to resume basketball activities.

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