Northern Kentucky University Coach John Brannen brought a little football to the basketball court as a device to close out his team’s victory over Wright State at Highland Heights on Friday night.
The Norse held tight to a 67-64 lead with 11.2 seconds remaining. NKU sought to inbound the ball beneath Wright State’s basket and run as much time off the clock as possible before an expected foul would come.
NKU lined up with all five of its players out of bounds along the baseline — one to the left of the inbounds passer and three to the right, in a look straight out of a four-wide-receiver set in a football offense.
All four players dashed off the line, each running a different pattern. The ball was safely inbounded to Tyler Sharpe, who ran a short comeback route on the left. NKU quickly worked the ball up court, got it back to Sharpe and ran the clock down to 2.4 seconds before Wright State was able to foul.
Sharpe made one of two free throws to secure the 68-64 victory.
NKU improved to 14-4 overall and 4-1 in the Horizon League. Wright State dropped to 8-10 and 2-3.
Drew McDonald led the Norse with his ninth double-double of the season, collecting 22 points and 12 rebounds. Jalen Tate added 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Sharpe finished with 14 points.
The largest crowd of the season — 5,848 fans — took in the game at BB&T Arena, where the Norse are 11-0 this season.