The days are numbered for the Northern Kentucky Norse, but that didn’t stop them from rolling over the North Florida Ospreys 72-45 Thursday at the Bank of Kentucky Center.
The Norse (10-15, 8-9 A-Sun) could finish as high a fourth in the Atlantic Sun, a huge accomplishment considering the Norse were picked to finish second to last out of ten teams. NKU is not eligible to make the NCAA tournament until 2016.
These games are also the final chance for seniors like Eshaunte Jones to leave their mark. Jones did so by dropping a career best 30 points and eclipsing the 1,000 point mark for his career which began at Nebraska. Tyler White added 12 points while Chad Jackson had eight points and six rebounds. Charles McRoy was the only Osprey (12-18, 7-10) to finish in double figures with 13.
The Norse stared the scoring with the first four points of the game, but UNF went on a 12-4 run to grab its largest lead of the game at four. That lead was quickly erased by a Todd Johnson 3-pointer and four points from Jones. In fact the Norse would go on to outscore UNF 26-14 for the rest of the half for a 36-24 halftime lead.
The Ospreys would go cold in the second half shooting just 31.8 percent while the Norse were firing on all cylinders at 58.3 percent. UNF also turned the ball over 14 times while NKU only committed three such errors. The 27 point victory is the largest margin of victory this season easily besting the 17 point upset of Mercer.
The Norse will play in their final conference and home game when Jacksonville (14-16, 9-8) comes to town. The Dolphins edged the Norse on New Year’s Eve 53-51. Tip-off is set for 8:00 P.M.