(WAVE) - Bullitt East High School graduate Tyler Sharpe scored 23 points but Northern Kentucky was outscored 42-31 in the second half as Texas Tech won the West Region 1st round match up 72-57 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
With leading scorer Drew McDonald struggling, hitting just 2-13 from the field and going 0-6 from three, Sharpe tried to pick up the slack. The 6′1″ junior hit 8-13 from the field including 4-7 from three. It was Sharpe’s eighth 20 point game of the season. McDonald, who averages 19.1 points a game, was held to a season low five points.
“I didn’t feel like I had to necessarily take his role, because we trust him even if he’s missed every shot, we trust he’s gonna make the next one,” Sharpe said. “I just took what the defense gave me and basically had the same approach I always have.”
The Norse were the #14 seed in the West Region, the Red Raiders the #3.
Northern Kentucky finishes it’s season 26-9 after the second trip to the NCAA Tournament in three years.
“26-9, you sit up here as a mid-major school with an opportunity to play in an NCAA Tournament and continue to advance, we were 15 seed, 14 seed this year, you know I couldn’t be more proud of our young men for what they’ve accomplished,” NKU head coach John Brannen said. “The NCAA Tournament is all about match ups and I felt like we had a few other match ups that would favor us a little bit better than tonight’s did and I think that came to fruition.”
The Norse lost to Kentucky in their first NCAA appearance in 2017.