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NKU notebook: Students show up in full force on Saturday for Homecoming game, but will they return?

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

An impressive turnout by students and alumni at Saturday night’s Homecoming game resulted in a crowd of 6,231 at BB&T Arena for Northern Kentucky’s 84-65 win over Detroit Mercy.

It marked the largest crowd of the season for NKU, which improved to 18-7 with the victory. The turnout also caused mixed emotions for Norse senior guard Tyler Sharpe.

“The crowd at Homecoming is, first of all, amazing, but it kind of frustrates me a little bit,” Sharpe said. “There’s no way that the people who came tonight didn’t enjoy it and didn’t have fun. We want to come out and put a show on for the crowd every night.

NKU’s Tyler Sharpe launches a 3-pointer against Detroit Mercy on Saturday night. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

“I don’t have many home games left, but going forward in the future I just hope that the kids and fans that came today really enjoyed it enough to keep coming back.”

NKU announced that nearly 1,200 students were in attendance for Saturday’s game. While that was the most students who have shown up for a home game this season, many of those were members of the fraternities and sororities on hand for the annual Homecoming festivities as much as basketball.

Several times this season, the student section at BB&T Arena has been virtually empty for NKU games. Sharpe and his teammates have noticed the opposite extremes in attendance.

“Seeing that crowd tonight is what we play for,” Sharpe said.

Jalen Tate, a junior guard, agreed with Sharpe. “Every night,” Tate added. “Norse Nation, every night pack BB&T.”

NKU head coach Darrin Horn was impressed by the crowd and pleased by the energy inside BB&T Arena on Saturday night.

“Tremendous crowd,” Horn said. “What an atmosphere.”

The Norse’s first-year mentor also noticed the NKU student section. “The students were absolutely off the charts,” Horn said. “We appreciate the students coming out in full force.”

LANGDON SITS OUT WITH AN INJURY: Horn said point guard Bryson Langdon sat out Saturday with an injury in the hip area, but the sophomore could be back as early as next week.

“If this was a championship game, maybe he could’ve given it a try,” Horn said of Langdon. “Hopefully he will be back next week.”

Langdon averages 8.8 points per game and has dished out a team-leading 87 assists. He’s also made 82.3 percent of his free throws.

MR. WINDEX: Adrian Nelson continues to clean the glass for NKU. The 6-foot-7 sophomore hauled in 13 rebounds against Detroit Mercy, six of those on the offensive boards.

Nelson has grabbed 24 rebounds the past two games, including 15 on the offensive glass. He hauled in nine offensive boards against Oakland on Thursday night and finished with 11 total rebounds. The Pickerington, Ohio, native averages 6.6 rebounds per contest.

An impressive turnout by students and alumni at Saturday night’s Homecoming game resulted in a crowd of 6,231 at BB&T Arena for NKU’s 84-65 win over Detroit Mercy. NKU is now 18-7 overall. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

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