Friday, February 20, 2015

Jacksonsville Knocks Off NKU in Overtime Despite 31 Points from Tayler Persons

Jacksonville 83
Northern Kentucky 75

Final from Jacksonville, Florida

Game recap by NKU:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tayler Persons provided Northern Kentucky (11-15, 5-6 A-Sun) with a double-double and the Norse battled back from a double-digit halftime deficit, but NKU eventually fell to Jacksonville (9-19, 3-8 A-Sun) in overtime, 83-75, in Atlantic Sun men's basketball action on Thursday night.

Persons finished the game with 31 points and 12 rebounds, both career- and game-highs, en route to his second-consecutive double-double. The freshman guard connected on 14-of-25 field goal attempts and added six assists to the mix.

Two big runs by Jacksonville defined the opening 20-minutes of play, as NKU trailed, 37-26, at intermission. Nine-unanswered points provided the Dolphins with a 15-7 lead in the early going.

Persons, who finished the opening stanza with 13 points and seven rebounds, keyed a stretch in which NKU scored seven-straight points to pull within two, 18-16.

A 13-0 Dolphins run was brought to an end by a Jalen Billups layin. Billups went on to score five-straight to help NKU nearly cut a 15-point deficit in half, 34-26. Marcel White knocked down a three for JU as time ran down to provide the halftime margin.

Northern Kentucky made 37.9 percent (11-of-29) of its attempts in the frame, while Jacksonville knocked down 43.3 percent (13-of-30). The difference came from three-point land, as the Dolphins knocked down 58.3 percent (7-of-12) to the Norse's 12.5 percent (1-of-8).

The second half opened with the two teams trading baskets before the Norse scored eight-consecutive points to climb back into the game. Deontae Cole capped the run with an offensive board and stick-back to pull NKU within three, 43-40.

Jacksonville held the Norse at bay and eventually extended its lead back to eight with 5:38 remaining. Persons capped an 8-0 Norse run to even the score at 64 with 2:33 on the clock.

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