Drury hangs on to top No. 8 NKU
Panthers hit 37 free throws as 59 total fouls called in upset
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Drury used 37 free throws and huge contributions from a pair of seldom-used bench players to knock off previously unbeaten and No. 8 Northern Kentucky 83-72 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play Saturday afternoon at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
Junior Layne Oberbeck came off the bench to hit all six of his shots and score a career-high 12 points and sophomore guard Shane Rudman gave the Panthers a lift with five points late in the first half as DU kept Northern Kentucky (13-1, 5-1 in the GLVC) from setting a school record for wins to start a season.
Both played key roles in the foul-plagued contest, which saw a total of 59 fouls called. Drury went 37 of 51 at the free throw line, hitting just enough of them down the stretch and grabbing key defensive rebounds, to hold off the hard-charging Norse.
"I can't say enough about the job Layne and Shane did today," Drury coach Steve Hesser said. "They came in and gave us good minutes when we really needed minutes. This win was good for our guys at a time when we needed one."
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|Anderson 78, No. 1 Lincoln Memorial 72 (OT)|
|No. 2 Kentucky Wesleyan 72, William Jewel 63|
|No. 3 Bellarmine 80, Missouri S&T 50|
|No. 4 West Liberty 139, Bluefield State 74|
|No. 6 Tarleton State 62, Abilene Christian 53|
|No. 7 Southern Indiana 63, Rockhurst 31|
|Drury 83, No. 8 Northern Kentucky 72|
|No. 15 Christian Brothers 69, West Georgia 49|
|No. 19 Fort Hays State 76, Pittsburg State 66|
|No. 20 Montevallo 77, Lander 67|
|Bridgeport 77, No. 22 District of Columbia 75|
|No. 23 Mo. Southern 70, Northeastern St. 67|
|No. 24 NW Mo. State 78, Southwest Baptist 55|
Brandon Lockhart had 24 points -- including a 16 of 22 effort at the free throw line -- to lead the Panthers, who won for just the third time in nine games with NKU in the all-time series.
It didn't look good early for the Panthers (9-6, 3-4), who stopped a three-game slide against top-10 squads with the victory.
The Norse -- who will make the move to NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference next season -- jumped on Drury early, bolting out to an 18-5 lead in the game's early minutes.
But the Panthers clawed back, and took their first lead when Rudman drained a 3-pointer with 4:26 to go to put Drury on top 28-25. DU went on to lead 38-33 at halftime after a first 20 minutes that featured 32 called fouls and a total of 12 players (seven for NKU, five for DU) saddled with at least two fouls each.
The Panthers came out and established momentum again early in the second half, pushing their lead to nine points at 42-33 on Ian Carter's jumper with 18:09 to go. The Norse eventually cut it down to two, but Drury pushed it back into double-figures with 10:30 to go on an Oberbeck layup (52-42). From there, it became a question as to whether the Panthers could hold off a Norse team that began to heat up from outside.
Northern Kentucky went through a stretch of five made treys in seven attempts, and had it back down to a two-point game at 66-64 with 3:29 to go on Ethan Faulkner's layup.
But freshman Cameron Adams answered with a conventional three-point play, and with the Panthers making clutch free throws down the stretch, the Norse never got it below four again.
Jon Van Noose had 18 points, getting five of his six 3-pointers in the second half, to lead NKU, which hit just 10 of 28 from 3-point range after leading the nation, percentage-wise, coming in.
Drury dominated the Norse on the boards with a 38-24 count, led by nine boards each from Carter and Adams.
Derek Daniels added a career-high five rebounds for the Panthers, who won despite a 2 for 11 effort from 3-point range and leading scorer Alex Hall going 1 for 8 from the field. Hall didn't get on the board until a pair of free throws with just more than seven minutes left, but hit some big tosses down the stretch in finishing 7 for 8 at the line and adding four assists in his 35 minutes of play.