The feast or famine season continued for Northern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team Monday at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Ft. Myers. Host Florida Gulf Coast, a former conference member with NKU in the Atlantic Sun Conference, clobbered the Norse, 82-61.
The big loss in the tourney opener, just five days after NKU’s historic 64-51 win over the University of Cincinnati, drops the Norse to 2-2 after their opening 79-57 homecourt loss to Kent State.
NKU will face Texas-Arlington Tuesday afternoon in a consolation game in the Showcase.
The game didn’t start all that badly for the Norse, who took an 18-12 early lead, but it was pretty much all FGCU from when NKU led 41-37 with 16:20 left as FGCU ended this one on a 45-21 run.
Not that there weren’t some good things for NKU in this one. Marques Warrick dropped in 16 points to lead NKU and also joined the 1,000-Point Club, the 31st NKU player to do so and the one who did it the fastest with his 16.4 points-per-game scoring average, the ninth-best in NKU history.
Trey Robinson came off the bench to post a double-double, the first in his NKU career, with 10 points and 12 rebounds in his 24 minutes of action. Sam Vinson added 14 points with three steals while point guard Xavier Rhodes scored 10 points with three steals and two assists.
The big difference in this one was FGCU’s sharp-shooting from behind the three-point line (12 of 28, .429) and at the free throw line – a remarkable 22 of 23 (.957). Zach Anderson’s 20 points led five double-digit FGCU scorers.
The consolation game Tuesday will tip off at Hertz Arena at 1:30 p.m. ET and will be available for viewing on FloHoops and listening on ESPN 1530.