MVP Sports Channel

NKU Men’s Basketball Faces Jacksonville In Next A-Sun Test

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The Norse won the first meeting, 81-59, but Jacksonville is coming off of an 89-70 thrashing of USC Upstate.

Game Notes (PDF)

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky‘s men’s basketball team will take to the road for a Thursday night matchup with Jacksonville. NKU (11-14, 5-5 A-Sun) and Lipscomb are tied for fourth in the league standings and are battling for home-court advantage in the opening round of the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship. Meanwhile, Jacksonville (8-19, 2-8 A-Sun) is tied with Stetson in last place, but the Dolphins currently hold the head-to-head tie-break over the Hatters. Both teams enter Thursday’s meeting coming off of wins, as Northern Kentucky cruised past Stetson, 82-57, and Jacksonville closed the game on a 46-13 run to best USC Upstate, 89-70.

Northern Kentucky University Norse (11-14 Overall, 5-5 Atlantic Sun)
Jacksonville University Dolphins (8-19 Overall, 2-8 Atlantic Sun)
Thurs., Feb. 19 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Swisher Gymnasium (1,500) in Jacksonville, Fla.
TV: ESPN3 with Scott Manze (play-by-play) and Artis Gilmore (analysis)
Radio: ESPN 1530 (AM) with Jim Kelch (play-by-play) and Steve Moeller (analysis)

Fast Break Points

  • NKU used a double-double from Tayler Persons to avenge a 10-point loss to Stetson earlier this season with an 82-57 blowout win.
  • Despite only shooting nine free throws against Stetson, NKU had its best outing at the line after converting all nine attempts.
  • The Norse are looking for a season sweep of Jacksonsville on Thursday. The Norse won, 81-59, at home on Jan 22.
  • Sitting at 11-14 overall, NKU has matched its win total from 2012-13 (11), the most in the DI-era, and surpassed last season’s total (9).
  • NKU is second overall in the A-Sun in shooting (45.4%) and turnovers (11.7). In A-Sun games, NKU leads the league in shooting (46.2%).
  • In A-Sun play, NKU has been held below 40% shooting in just one game and has held four adversaries to less than 40% (Upstate, FGCU, Lipscomb, Stetson).
  • Three Norse are averaging double-digits in A-Sun play, Billups (14.6), White (12.3) and Persons (12.3).
  • G Tayler Persons notched his first career double-double with 16 points and career-best 11 boards versus Stetson.
  • G Tayler Persons leads NKU in scoring (12.6 ppg), assists (3.6 apg) and steals (1.1).
  • F Jalen Billups ranks among NKU’s all-time leaders in FG % (2nd, .629), blocks (7th, 88) & blocks per game (12th, 1.0).
  • Billups leads the league and ranks third nationally (ESPN) in field goal percentage (69.0), a mark that currently tops NKU’s record books as well.
  • Billups is averaging 14.6 ppg in A-Sun games behind 74.7 percent shooting, which leads the league by over 18 percent.
  • Billups also ranks third in the league in blocks (1.5) and rebounds (7.2) in conference only games.
  • G Chad Jackson and Billups are climbing NKU’s all-time scoring list. Billups ranks 41st with 762 points and Jackson checks in at 43rd (749).
  • White has started 14-of-the-last-15 games. He also leads NKU in made 3’s (52) & is 14th in NKUís record books with 128-career treys.
  • F Deontae Cole ranks among the league leaders in 3-point field-goal percent, checking in eighth at 41.3 percent.

Scouting Jacksonville

Trailing by 14 points with just 13:53 remaining at USC Upstate, Jacksonville rallied to outscore the Spartans, 46-13, and end up with an 89-70 blowout win. Marcel White (30 points) and Marcellus Bell (20 points) led five Dolphins in double-figures. The victory snapped a seven-game skid for JU, which now sits at 2-8 in conference play and 8-19 overall.

Kori Babineaux enters the contest as the reigning Atlantic Sun Newcomer of the Week after averaging 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Babineaux paces the offense for Jacksonville, averaging a team-best 13.9 points per game. The Dolphins also get 12.8 points from Andris Misters.

Series Stuff – Jacksonville

The Norse dropped the Dolphins, 81-59, when the two teams met at The Bank of Kentucky Center earlier this season. Tayler Persons led a quartet of NKU players in double-figures with 18 points. Jalen Billups went 7-for-8 from the floor en route to 17 points, while Chad Jackson and Tyler White added 15 and 13, respectively. The win moved Northern Kentucky to 3-2 all-time against Jacksonville. Neither team has been able to break through on the road, as the home team has won all five meetings.

Last Time Out: Stetson

Northern Kentucky used 11-straight points late in the first half to take a five-point advantage and blow the game open just before intermission. The Norse kept their foot on the pedal and received four treys from toTodd Johnson to push the lead to as many as 31 points with 10-minutes remaining. NKU shot 49.2 percent for the game, while holding Stetson to just 37.5 percent. Johnson’s long-range barrage helped NKU connect on 42.3 percent of its 3-point attempts. The Norse also went a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe, their best effort of the season. Tayler Persons tallied his first career double-double in the contest with 16 points and career-high 11 boards.

Milestones On The Horizon

Season Shooting Percentage
1.    Jalen Billups (’14-15)    69.0 %
2.     Adam Norwell (’00-01)    65.8 %
3.    Jesse Rupe (’02-03)    65.11 %
4.    Jalen Billups (’11-12)    65.06 %

Career Scoring
39.    Ken Noll    793
40.    Kevin Listerman    772
41.    Jalen Billups    762
42.    Carl Mitchell    757
43.     Chad Jackson    749
50.    Billy Finnell    709
Tyler White    689

Career 3-Point FG’s Made
12.    Craig Conley    149
13.    Anthony Teague    129
14.    Tyler White    128

Career Blocks
6.    Gary Woeste    92
7.    Jalen Billups    88

Career Steals
14.    Chris Wall    122
15.    Paul Cluxton    114
16.    Chad Jackson    113
Billy Finnell    113

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