The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Men’s basketball dig deep to defeat Cleveland State

NKU winning on and off the court with Marques Warrick.
Hailey Roden
LJ Wells in action

The NKU men’s basketball team put on a thrilling show inside Truist Arena on Thursday night with their 75-73 win over the Cleveland State Vikings.

The victory reinforces the new found confidence the Norse have shown, winning four of their last five games.

Their narrow defeat of 73-72 on the road against Milwaukee was a blow, and the players were keen to get a win against Cleveland.

The night began with a special donation from senior Marques Warrick to the Northern Kentucky University scholarship fund. $2,067 was donated to represent each point Warrick took to break the school’s all-time point scoring record.

Warrick pictured alongside Athletic Director Christina Roybal, University President Cady Short-Thompson, Warrick’s mother and Coach Horn (Hailey Roden)

“Anytime I have the opportunity to give, I do so willingly. Donating the check meant everything. I’ve been up here for four years now, this is my second home and I appreciate all the fans and support I have got over the years and just wanted to give back,” said Warrick.

Coach Horn believes NKU is winning both on and off the court with Warrick, and that the team is building players to become men outside of basketball.

“He wanted to give back, so that someone like him who isn’t maybe a scholarship athlete can have a similar experience to him,” said Horn.

Warrick led the game in point scoring with 27 points and achieved a career high of seven rebounds.

Tristan Enaruna, a candidate for this year’s Horizon League Player of the Year alongside Warrick, led the scoring for Cleveland State with 25 points. 

A worry for the Norse came with just under 10 minutes remaining in the second half, when sophomore Keeyan Itejere was taken off with a suspected ankle injury.

“I think those guys are gaining some confidence. We don’t have a very deep bench, but the guys that we’re playing are really starting to develop,” said Horn about his bench during injuries. 

Senior Trey Robinson and sophomore LJ Wells stepped up to the plate defensively to cover Itejere’s absence.

Wells posted another great game with 17 points and seven rebounds. His teammate Robinson led the night in rebounds with 10.

“I think Trey and LJ were the difference in the game. With Keeyan out there’s no subs, with the way we usually rotate those three,” said Horn.

Robinson, currently battling an ankle injury, had to fight through Thursday night’s game to help bring home the win.

Senior Trey Robinson (Hailey Roden)

“It got in my head a little before the game, but I just knew I had to go in and do whatever I could to get us the win,” said Robinson.

The last home game of the season for the Norse will be Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

They will face IUPUI as they celebrate Senior Day for Warrick, Robinson and Michael Bradley.

 “They are the best leaders I’ve ever had on a team. They pave the way on how to be a leader, and I’m appreciative of these guys as they play their hearts out,” said Wells about the seniors.