The Northern Kentucky Norse stayed hot on Saturday as they held off USC Upstate on the road for a 70-65 victory.
The Norse (8-11, 6-5 Atlantic Sun) continue to play well in conference, now winning four straight. NKU is not eligible for postseason until 2015, but it hasn't stopped senior Eshaunte Jones from averaging 23.5 points during that win streak. He led the team in scoring with 18 while Chad Jackson added 17 and Tyler White had 13 off the bench.
Ricardo Glenn led the Spartans (13-11, 7-4) with 14 while Jodd Maxey and Torrey Craig each had 13.
Each team was plagued by turnovers as the Norse turned the ball over 15 times while the Spartans committed 16 errors on the evening. NKU was able to take advantage of those points as they outscored USC Upstate 23-9 in points off of turnovers.
The Spartans started with a dunk from Maxey, but a 3-pointer from Jones quickly gave NKU its first lead of the game. USC Upstate was able to go ahead by four thanks to a 12-5 run, but the Norse responded with a 7-0 run capped by a White 3-pointer.
The two teams went back and forth to a 25-24 USC Upstate lead, but the Norse rattled off eight straight points capped by a Jackson layup. Both teams added baskets in the final 1:30 to make it a 38-32 game in favor of the Norse.
A quick 6-2 run by the Norse gave them their largest lead of ten points and they were able to stave off any attempt by the Spartans to come back. USC Upstate nearly rallied in the final minute after an old fashioned 3-point play cut the lead to three.
On the Norse's next possession Ethan Faulkner turned the ball over with 29 seconds remaining after being called for a charge. Ty Greene's 3-point attempt to tie the game went off the side of the rim, but the Spartans were able to grab the rebound and Adrian Rodgers got a wide open look, but also missed his 3-point attempt. Chad Jackson corralled the rebound and then made two free-throws to ice the game.
The Norse continue their road trip on Feb. 8 when the head to Nashville to take on Lipscomb (8-14, 3-8). NKU picked up its first home win back on Jan. 11 against the Bisons with a 67-53 victory.