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Warrick pours in 23 points, NKU snaps Wright State winning streak at nine with 81-75 victory on Friday

By Don Owen
NKyTribune sports editor

Remember the quick, smooth release of Ray Allen, the former NBA standout who earned All-America honors at Connecticut back in the 1990s?

If not, spend some time watching Northern Kentucky freshman standout Marques Warrick, a southpaw shooting machine whose composure in big moments brings back memories of Allen. The Lexington native even resembles Allen, though the former UConn All-American was a right-handed shooter whose big-moment baskets made him a legend.

Marques Warrick launches a 3-pointer over Wright State defender Jaylon Hall on Friday night. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Warrick is quickly developing his own legacy, the latest example on Friday night against powerful Wright State. The Henry Clay High School graduate poured in 23 points — including a pair of clutch 3-pointers in the final 4:09 of the game — as NKU snapped Wright State’s winning streak at nine with an 81-75 victory at BB&T Arena.

The Norse built a 10-point lead in the second half, survived a Wright State rally and improved to 13-9 overall, 11-6 in the Horizon League.

Warrick finished 5-for-8 from behind the arc and made all four of his free throws. He also buried a 3-pointer at the 4:09 mark that extended NKU’s lead to 72-64, then extinguished any comeback hopes for the visitors by draining a triple with 1:04 left on the clock to make it a 77-70 Norse advantage.

“He’s never scared of the moment,” NKU head coach Darrin Horn said of Warrick. “The bigger the moment, the better he seems to be.”

Friday’s performance marked the eighth time this season Warrick has scored 20 or more points. His five 3-pointers equaled his career-high in a game.

Wright State dropped to 17-5 overall, 15-4 in the Horizon League. The Raiders had not lost since suffering a 66-64 setback to Cleveland State on Jan. 15.

Trevon Faulkner added 17 points, four rebounds and four assists for NKU, which avenged a pair of losses to Wright State last season. Bryson Langdon scored 15 points and dished out a game-high seven assists, while David Böhm chipped in 14 points off the bench.

“(We) just stayed composed and poised throughout the game, even when they went on a run,” Langdon said. “We countered everything they did, whatever they did, we matched it.”

Bryson Langdon attempts a shot during NKU’s 81-75 win over Wright State on Friday night. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Loudon Love scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Wright State. Grant Basile added 15 points for the Raiders, who shot 43.8 percent from the field and were 8-for-23 from 3-point range.

“They got not one big (guy) that’s impossible to guard one-on-one, but two of them,” Horn said of Love and Basile. “They’re great on the offensive glass. The challenge is they do everything well.”

NKU finished with a 39-35 edge in rebounds, with Adrian Nelson grabbing 11 boards. Nelson also scored nine points — all in the first half — and blocked a shot.

Horn described it as a “team win” and credited his players for toughing out a victory against an outstanding opponent.

“A lot of different guys contributed on both ends of the floor,” Horn said. “Maybe more importantly, the resiliency they showed to never really get fazed at any point by how the way the game was going, good or bad. Just continue to play the next play.”

NKU shot 46 percent from the field and was 10-for-23 from 3-point range. The Norse also converted 81.3 percent of their free throws.

Wright State still owns a 26-13 lead in the all-time series with NKU. The Raiders are 7-6 against the Norse since NKU transitioned to the NCAA Division I level.

NKU and Wright State conclude regular-season play Saturday at 5 p.m. at BB&T Arena.

Love 6-11 4-6 16, Holden 3-9 2-2 9, Basile 6-10 3-4 15, Finke 4-13 0-0 11, Calvin 4-12 2-2 12, Hall 5-8 0-1 12, Huibregtse 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-64 11-15 75.
Faulkner 6-13 5-6 17, Langdon 6-15 2-2 15, Nelson 4-5 1-2 9, Warrick 7-17 4-4 23, Eleeda 1-4 0-0 3, Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Djoko 0-1 0-0 0, Böhm 5-8 1-2 14, Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Hupmann 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-63 13-16 81.
HALFTIME: NKU 42-38. 3-POINTERS: (NKU 10-23, WSU 8-23). REBOUNDS: NKU 39 (Nelson 11), WSU 35 (Love 10).
RECORDS: NKU 13-9, 11-6 Horizon League; Wright State 17-5, 15-4 Horizon League.

Adrian Nelson elevates for a dunk during the first half of NKU’s 81-75 win over Wright State on Friday night at BB&T Arena. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

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