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Oakland knocks off NKU in Horizon League showdown; Thomas More women improve to 20-0

NKyTribune staff

ROCHESTER, Mich. — Despite the loss of three high-scoring standouts from last season’s team, including Horizon League Player of the Year Kendrick Nunn, the Oakland Golden Grizzlies are still talented and dangerous.

Northern Kentucky University found out the hard way Thursday night during a 76-74 loss to Oakland at the Blacktop at the O’Rena. The Golden Grizzlies rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit and remained unbeaten (3-0) in Horizon League play.

NKU dropped a 76-74 decision at Oakland on Thursday night in a Horizon League showdown. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Oakland survived a 3-point attempt by NKU’s Dantez Walton in the closing seconds to pull out the win. The Golden Grizzlies are now 7-9 overall but tied for first place in the Horizon League standings. NKU dropped to 12-4 overall, 2-1 in the Horizon League.

NKU junior guard Tyler Sharpe, who buried four shots from 3-point range in the first half as the Norse built a 42-32 lead, finished with 14 points. NKU drained seven 3-pointers and shot 53.3 percent from the field during the opening 20 minutes to forge the 10-point advantage.

Jalen Tate added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists for NKU, while teammate Drew McDonald finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. The Norse were 0-for-8 from 3-point range in the second half.

Xavier Hill-Mais poured in 32 points to lead the Golden Grizzlies, who shot 52 percent from the field in the second half to rally for the win. Oakland also buried 7-of-14 shots from 3-point range during the final 20 minutes.

Jaevin Cumberland added 15 points and six assists for Oakland, which had not played a home game since late November. The rugged stretch of non-conference games obviously paid dividends for the Golden Grizzlies, who own an 11-9 lead in the all-time series with the Norse.

A year ago, NKU posted an 87-83 victory at Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies, however, defeated the Norse in Highland Heights last season.

NKU concludes the two-game road trip Saturday with a 1 p.m. contest at Detroit Mercy.

THOMAS MORE WOMEN IMPROVE TO 20-0: Madison Temple scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out seven assists as the Thomas More women’s basketball team reached the 20-win mark with an 88-54 victory over NAIA opponent Lindsey Wilson on Thursday night at the Connor Convocation Center.

Emily Schultz

Shelby Rupp added 20 points and five rebounds for Thomas More, which is now 20-0 and ranked No. 2 nationally in the NCAA Division III poll. Emily Schultz finished with 15 points, six assists and five blocks as the Saints rolled past the visiting Blue Raiders. Thomas More shot 62.5 percent from the field and held Lindsey Wilson to just 29.5 percent shooting.

Lindsey Wilson (9-4) entered the game ranked No. 18 nationally in the NAIA poll. The Blue Raiders are members of the Mid-South Conference, which Thomas More joins next season when it transitions to the NAIA.

Thomas More has not lost a regular-season game in more than a year. The Saints’ last defeat in the regular season occurred on Nov. 18, 2017, when Rochester (N.Y.) pulled out a 61-58 win over visiting Thomas More.

Thomas More hits the road to meet No. 23 Texas-Dallas on Saturday. The Saints also face No.12 Mary Hardin-Baylor next Monday.

NKU WOMEN DEFEAT MILWAUKEE: Kailey Coffey hit a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining in the game to give the NKU women’s basketball team a 55-54 win over Milwaukee on Thursday night at BB&T Arena.

Coffey finished with 10 points and seven rebounds for NKU, which is 3-10 overall, 2-1 in the Horizon League. Ally Niece led the Norse with 11 points. Milwaukee is 5-8 overall, 0-2 in the Horizon League.

(Information compiled from NKU Athletics Communications, Thomas More and staff reports)

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