Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Northern Kentucky Comes Up Short at Chattanooga Despite 30 Points from Tayler Persons

Chattanooga 93
Northern Kentucky 81

Final from Chattanooga, Tennessee

Game recap by NKU:

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Tayler Persons scored a game- and career-high 30 points, but Northern Kentucky (4-6) could not overcome a second-half deficit in a 93-81 loss at Chattanooga (6-5) on Tuesday night.

"I was proud of our guys for the way they fought back in the second half," said head coach Dave Bezold. "We didn't have enough sense of urgency on the defensive end in the first half and early into the second. But, once our guys found that urgency, we made a little run to get back into the game. Unfortunately, we just dug too large of a hole to climb back out."

Persons was 7-of-15 from the floor and a perfect 14-of-14 from the free-throw line. The freshman guard also dished out a game-high-tying five assists.

Coming out of intermission, Chattanooga put an 8-1 run on the board to force Bezold to take a timeout. NKU responded with a 7-2 spurt of its own, but UTC countered with its second run of the half. The 15-4 run from the Mocs put NKU in a 21-point hole, 77-56, with just under 11 minutes remaining.

NKU hung around and kept the margin at 19 with 7:09 on the clock. That is when the Norse found consistency on the defensive end of the floor.

Stout defense held the Mocs scoreless until the 1:23 mark of the frame. In the meantime, the Norse scored eight points and had several other point-blank opportunities to further cut the lead.

Though shaky, Chattanooga was able to seal the win at the free-throw line. The final nine points for the Mocs were tallied at the charity stripe.

Northern Kentucky finished the game shooting 49.1 percent (26-of-53), including 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from long range. However, Chattanooga connected on 62.8 percent (27-for-43) from the floor and 50 percent (13-for-26) beyond the arc.

Jalen Billups joined Persons in double figures, tallying 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the floor. The junior forward added five rebounds to the cause.

Complete Recap

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