Hunter Harris also had 12 points and Lester Wilson chipped in 11 for the Bucs, who snapped a nine-game losing streak.
Northern Kentucky (3-10, 1-4), which trailed by as many as 10, 24-14, in the first half, cut the deficit to 26-22 after Eshaunte Jones (18 points) hit a jumper to open the second half. But Jarvis Jones answered with a jumper and Harris made a layup to push ETSU (4-12, 2-1) back up by eight.
Wilson’s free throw with 10:10 left gave the Bucs a 39-29 lead as Northern Kentucky never got any closer than four the rest of the way.
Northern Kentucky made just 7 of 12 free throws, which proved to be the difference.