CLEVELAND, Ohio – A wild, back-and-forth affair took place at the Wolstein Center on Saturday night, but the Northern Kentucky men’s basketball team fell three points short in a 74-71 overtime contest against Cleveland State. The setback drops NKU to 5-6 overall and 3-3 in the Horizon League. CSU remains unbeaten at 8-0 against league competition and 8-3 in all games.
- Marques Warrick dropped a career-high 25 points on the evening, as the freshman made 8-of-15 (53 percent) field-goal attempts.
- Trevon Faulkner continued his consistent outpouring of double-figure scoring efforts, as the junior has hit the mark every game this season after scoring 16 against the Vikings on Saturday.
- Bryson Langdon handed out a season-high eight assists, which was one off his career-high of nine set last season against Texas Southern.
- Trailing by two points early in overtime, Cleveland State rattled off nine-unanswered points. However, the game wasn’t over until the final buzzer as Warrick’s potential game-tying three heartbreakingly rolled off the rim as time expired.
FIRST HALF SUMMARY
- With the Norse leading 8-6 early, the Vikings ran off 10-straight to pull ahead, only to have Warrick run off a personal 6-0 run.
- Northern Kentucky eventually evened the score at 21, but Cleveland State reeled off five-straight points.
- A response was put together by the Norse, who capped six-straight with a four-point play from Faulkner that put NKU ahead 27-26.
- After the two teams traded a pair of points each, CSU tallied the final three points and took a 31-29 advantage into intermission.
- Warrick poured it on early in the first half, finishing with 14 points in the stanza after shooting 5-8 (63 percent)from the field.
- The turnover bug hit the Norse, however, as they committed 12 miscues that resulted in 13 points for the Vikings.
- Shooting slightly favored NKU, which made 44 percent (10-of-23) from the field and 33 percent (4-of-12) from three. CSU converted 43 percent (12-of-28) of all attempts and 23 percent (3-of-13) from deep.
SECOND HALF SUMMARY
- NKU opened the second half on a 7-2 run to claim a 36-33 lead.
- Cleveland State hit the next basket, but Langdon found Nelson for an easy bucket that sparked another 7-1 spurt for the Norse that put them up 43-36.
- The game became a back-and-forth affair after the Vikings reeled off six-straight, featuring five lead changes in a span that ran just under four minutes. CSU eventually pulled ahead by three, 55-52.
- Darius Harding tied the score with a three and Warrick put the Norse up 57-55 with just under two minutes to play.
- But, Cleveland State hit two free throws with 34 seconds left to tie the score and force overtime.
- The Norse made 35 percent (7-of-20) in the half and just 29 percent (2-of-7) from three. The Vikings converted 33 percent (9-of-27) of their shots and only 22 percent (2-of-9) of their threes.
- Harding hit the first basket of overtime, but Cleveland State then sank six-straight free throws to take a 63-59 lead with just over two minutes to play.
- The Vikings extended their lead to seven on four separate occasions, but the Norse continued to battle.
- Trey Robinson and Warrick each hit a pair of free throws before Robinson followed again with a three. However, up until Robinson’s three, the Vikings answered with two made free throws each time.
- CSU split a couple of free throws after Robinson’s three, and the freshman went down the floor and nailed another to pull NKU within two, 73-71, with 4.2 seconds left.
- The Norse fouled on the inbounds and the Vikings only made 1-of-2 free throws again.
- NKU’s play freed up Warrick for a long-range three that rattled around and out to seal the win for CSU.
- Northern Kentucky was efficient in its shooting, making 4-of-8 (50 percent) attempts, including 2-of-4 (50 percent) from three.
- Cleveland State only attempted three shots in the overtime period, but made its lone three. However, the Vikings took care of business at the charity stripe, converting 14-of-16 (88 percent).
- Saturday’s game featured 18 lead changes and 12 ties.
- NKU outshot CSU 41-38 percent from the field, as well as 35-26 percent from three.
- Northern Kentucky made 21-of-23 (91 percent) free throws in the game and Cleveland State knocked down 24-of-30 (80 percent) attempts.
- Turnovers proved costly for the Norse. While they only committed four more turnovers than the Vikings, 19-15, Cleveland State held a stout 21-9 advantage in points off of them.
- Warrick has now eclipsed the 20-point plateau in three of the last four games.
Northern Kentucky returns to the friendly confines of BB&T Arena for two games against IUPUI on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15-16.