FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A late push by Northern Kentucky saw the visiting Norse grab a 63-50 victory over the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team on Friday (Feb. 17) night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Purdue Fort Wayne chipped away at Northern Kentucky’s stingy defense in the opening stanza. After NKU built a double-digit lead, Deonte Billups gave the Mastodons a spark on the offensive end of the floor. Billups drilled back-to-back 3-pointers that cut the Norse’s lead to 21-15 with five minutes left to play in the first half. Purdue Fort Wayne’s defense also found some footing late in the first half, holding Northern Kentucky scoreless for the final two minutes of the period. Jarred Godfrey capped the strong end to the half with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer. Despite trailing by as many as 13 points, Purdue Fort Wayne trailed by just four at the intermission, 28-24.
Purdue Fort Wayne was able to grab its first lead of Friday’s contest at the 12:36 mark of the second half following a corner 3-pointer by Quinton Morton-Robertson. Morton-Robertson’s 3-pointer highlighted an 8-0 run that saw the ‘Dons build their largest lead of the game at 43-39.
Northern Kentucky seized control of Friday’s game late behind the play of Marques Warrick. Warrick paced NKU with 22 points – 15 of which came in the second half. Sam Vinson also hit a pair of critical 3-pointers in the game’s final minutes that helped seal the win for NKU.
Godfrey led Purdue Fort Wayne with 14 points and five rebounds. Godfrey also added a pair of steals. Billups added 12 points.
Northern Kentucky shot 23-of-50 (46 percent) from the field in Friday’s game, including 11-of-23 (47.8 percent) from downtown. The Mastodons were limited to 18-of-51 (35.3 percent) from the field and 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) shooting from 3-point territory.
The Mastodons dropped to 15-13, 7-10 Horizon following Friday’s setback. The Norse improved to 17-11, 12-5 Horizon on the season.
Purdue Fort Wayne will host Wright State in the team’s regular season home finale on Sunday (February 19). It will be Senior Day for the Mastodons. Ra Kpedi, Godfrey, Damian Chong Qui and Bobby Planutis will each be honored prior to the game. Game time against the Raiders is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Gates Center.