HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Horizon League rival Wright State comes to BB&T Arena to kick off a three-game home stand that closes the regular-season for the Northern Kentucky men’s basketball team. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET).
Northern Kentucky University Norse (18-10 Overall, 9-6 Horizon League)
Wright State University Raiders (19-9 Overall, 10-5 Horizon League)
Tuesday, Feb. 21 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
BB&T Arena (9,400) in Highland Heights, Ky.
TV: ESPN3 with Brady Laber (play-by-play) and Brad Redford (analysis)
Radio: 55KRC (550 AM) with Jim Kelch (play-by-play) and Steve Moeller (analysis)
Fast Break Points
• NKU had a four-game win-streak snapped by Youngstown State on Saturday night, as the Penguins came from behind in the closing minutes to defeat the Norse, 81-77.
• NKU outrebounded YSU, 46-34, winning the rebound battle for the 22nd time this year.
• The Norse have committed 12 or fewer turnovers in each of the last four games.
• NKU sits at 18-10 on the season, and has established a new Division I-era record for wins, topping the 13 recorded in the 2014-15 season as a member of the Atlantic Sun.
• NKU’s 18 wins are nine more than it had last year, a turnaround that is tied for the third best in the nation based on wins alone. According to the NCAA, which also considers losses, NKU is tied-fourth at plus-10.0.
• The Norse close the season with a stretch of five games in 11 days. They are 1-1 during the stretch, with the first two games coming on the road.
• NKU welcomes Wright State to BB&T Arena in the second meeting of the year between the two teams. NKU won the first matchup in Dayton, 83-79.
• The 70-point plateau is key for NKU this year. Northern Kentucky is 15-4 when scoring at least 70 points and 13-2 when holding opponents to 70 or fewer points.
• NKU was picked to finish 7th in the Horizon League in the preseason poll. With four games left it is fifth at 9-6, just one game behind Green Bay and Wright State teams that are tied for third.
• F Drew McDonald came just shy of a double-double at YSU, posting 14 points and nine boards. He has a team-high 10 double-doubles on the year, while also leading NKU in scoring (15.8) and rebounding (7.7).
• F Carson Williams, a two-time Horizon League Freshman of the Week honoree, was able to secure his fourth double-double of the campaign with 11 points and 10 boards against YSU. He is third on the team in scoring (10.7) and second in rebounding (6.0).
• G Lavone Holland II took a pass from Jordan Garnett while slicing through the lane at YSU and threw down a filthy dunk over two Penguins. He is second on the team at 13.4 ppg, but has a team-high 104 assists.
• F Cole Murray is fourth on the team in scoring at 10.2 ppg. He ranks No. 26 nationally with 84 made threes this year and No. 44 in 3-point shooting percent, converting 40.6 percent. The senior has made a triple in 27-of-28 games.
• G Dantez Walton continues to be a huge lift for the Norse off the bench. He scored six points and pulled down five boards versus YSU.
• G Mason Faulkner posted 16 points behind 8-of-9 shooting at the line at Youngstown State. He is averaging 7.8 ppg on the year, including 11.5 ppg in Horizon League play.
Scouting Wright State
Wright State is just one game ahead of Northern Kentucky (19-9 overall, 10-5 Horizon League) and tied for third with Green Bay in the Horizon League standings. The Raiders survived a double-overtime scare at Cleveland State in their last outing. Mark Alstork leads a quartet of players averaging double-figures, checking in at 18.6 ppg. Steven Davis averages 15.0 ppg, while Grant Benzinger and Justin Mitchell add 12.1 and 11.6 ppg, respectively. The Raiders score at a 76.8 ppg clip and allow opponents an average of 72.1 ppg.
With an 83-79 win in Dayton, Ohio, a few weeks back, Northern Kentucky improved its all-time record to 8-21 versus Wright State. McDonald scored eight of NKU’s final 13 points en route to 20 points in the game to help Northern Kentucky secure the road victory at the Nutter Center. Walton added 12 and both Murray and Williams chipped in 10. The series dates back to the 1970s.
Last Time Out
Leading 74-69 with 5:09 left on the clock, Northern Kentucky surrendered a 10-1 run to Youngstown State over the next three minutes. While the Norse were able to get within two, 79-77, with a minute to play, NKU missed a bevy of three-point attempts down the stretch in the 81-77 setback. Faulkner talled 16 points and Williams notched his fourth double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds. McDonald came just shy of a double-double, posting 14 points and 11 rebounds.