Monday, January 19, 2015

Northern Kentucky Wins Thriller at USC Upstate

Northern Kentucky 66
USC Upstate 65

Final from Spartanburg, South Carolina

Game recap by NKU:

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Northern Kentucky rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit for a 66-65 win over USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon. Jalen Billups led the Norse with 16 points on the strength of perfect 7-for-7 shooting from the floor.

"That was an enormous win for us," said head coach Dave Bezold. "Our guys showed a lot of moxy battling back in the second half. I really thought Jalen's ability to score inside opened things up for Tayler [Persons] and Todd [Johnson] and those two guys knocked down some key baskets."

The win moves Northern Kentucky to 8-10 overall and 2-1 in the Atlantic Sun.

The onset of the game featured a back-and-forth affair with NKU establishing an 11-8 advantage after the first five minutes. A 9-0 run by USC Upstate (13-6, 1-2 A-Sun) pushed the Spartans out in front, a lead they did not relinquish for the remainder of the half on their way to a 36-24 margin.

Upstate maintained an 8-11 point advantage for the first eight minutes of the second half. Trailing, 47-38, the Norse made their move over the next six minutes, scoring 14 of the next 19 points to grab a 52-51 lead.

Todd Johnson kick-started the run with a three from the corner and Tayler Persons ended it with the final five points.

After the Spartans scored the next four points to regain the lead, Tyler White cashed a trifecta to even the game at 55. Johnson then sandwiched another two treys around an Upstate basket before following with a third three-pointer to extend NKU's lead to 61-57 with 1:46 left on the clock.

Complete Recap

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