Release from Kennesaw State Athletics:
A career high in points by Damien Wilson wasn’t enough for the Owls as Northern Kentucky topped Kennesaw State 76-72 at The Bank of Kentucky Center on Wednesday night.
“We had opportunities in both halves to win a tough game on the road,” head coach Jimmy Lallathin said. “We didn’t take advantage of those opportunities at times. I thought a couple of individuals really gave great effort on the defensive end, but in order to get wins on the road it has to be a collective team effort. We’ll grow from this experience. These experiences will perpetuate us to get some wins at home and give us some confidence and carry on through the A-Sun season.”
Wilson poured in 22 points setting a new career high by nine points. He also had five rebounds.
Yonel Brown also had 20 points to go along with four assists.
With 4:09 left, Nigel Pruitt hit a three to get the Owls within five points. KSU continued to hang around when Brown made three free throws and Delbert Love hit a three with 55 seconds left to cut it to four, but that’s as close as the team would get as the Norse closed it out 76-72.
To start the game, Wilson and Brown both made jumpers in the first two possessions for the Owls to take a quick 4-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Love got going early hitting two three pointers to give KSU their largest lead of the game up 10-5.
Northern Kentucky then cracked down on the defensive end forcing the Owls into nine turnovers in the opening frame and stretched out their lead to as much as ten.
The Owls closed the half making six for eight shots and cut the deficit down to one on a Love three, but three costly turnovers by the Owls in the final 1:03 helped Northern Kentucky to a 41-34 lead at the break.
Coming out of the locker room down seven, the Norse hit two quick threes within the first minutes pushing their lead to 13 forcing the Owls to take a timeout. A couple minutes later, NKU had its biggest lead of the game up 15 after Chad Jackson hit a layup.
KSU responded with a 7-0 run behind five points from Wilson to get the lead back down to eight. Both teams traded baskets for the rest of the half until Pruitt got the Owls within five at the 4:09 mark.
The loss moves Kennesaw State to 5-13 and 0-2 in Atlantic Sun play.