Last season’s March Madness darling UMBC comes to BB&T Arena for a Friday night tilt with Northern Kentucky men’s basketball. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Northern Kentucky University Norse (7-1 Overall, 0-0 Horizon League)
UMBC Retrievers (4-3 Overall, 0-0 America East)
Friday, Nov. 30 – 7 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN+ with Brady Laber (PxP) and Brad Redford (Color)
Radio: ESPN1530 with Jim Kelch (PxP) and Steve Moeller (Color)
Stats: Live Stats
Tickets and Promotions
Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Simon Sez expert Steve Max is set to perform at halftime. A snack bar will also be available for the first 500 students.
Fast Break Points
• NKU improved to 7-1 on the season with a 93-71 victory at Morehead State on Tuesday.
• NKU shot 62.7 percent from the floor, while limiting MSU to just 36.2 percent.
• NKU handed out 23 assists against the Eagles, marking the third 20-plus assist game of the season. The Norse are averaging 17.3 assists per game, No. 33 in the nation.
• At 7-1, the Norse are off to their best start of the DI era, topping last season’s 6-2 opening.
• NKU is letting it fly from 3-point range, ranking 10th in attempts (211) and 9th in made treys (78). The Norse are making 9.8 threes per game, which are the 43rd-most nationally.
• NKU is forcing teams into 16.3 turnovers per game, the 70th most in the country. As part of the defensive pressure, NKU’s 64 total steals are the 15th most.
• Foes are also converting just 37.0 percent of their shots versus NKU, 18th-best nationally. The Norse are also 43rd in scoring defense, allowing teams to post just 63.1 points per game.
• NKU is receiving votes in both the CollegeInsider.com Men’s Mid-Major Top-25 and Mid-Major Madness’ The Other Top-25 Poll.
• The Norse were picked to finish second in the Horizon League preseason poll, receiving 356 points and 10 first-place votes. Wright State was picked first with 377 points.
• NKU is coming off a 22-10 campaign in which it won the Horizon League regular-season title and played in the NIT.
• Since the start of the 2016-17 season, NKU is a combined 53-22, has won the Horizon League regular season (2018) and league tourney (2017), and has played in the NCAA Tournament (2017) and NIT (2018).
• F Drew McDonald dropped the nation’s sixth triple-double of the season and the first in Norse history since Feb. 3, 2001 with 12 points, 14 rebounds and career-high 11 assists at Morehead State.
• McDonald leads four Norse averaging double digits on the year at 18.8 points (93rd in nation). He also leads NKU at 10.4 rebounds per game (19th in nation). His four double-doubles rank 9th in the country.
• In the last three games, McDonald is averaging 21.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He’s converting 60.0 percent of his field-goal attempts during that time.
• McDonald is chasing NKU’s all-time rebound record. He is second with 845 boards and is 15 away from breaking LaRon Moore’s Norse record, 859.
• G Jalen Tate is averaging 11.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game this year. He’s registered 23 assists to only seven turnovers and is making 51.1 percent (23-of-45) of his shots. Tate’s 3.29 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks 53rd in the country.
• F Dantez Walton is averaging 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds. He’s shooting 52.3 percent (34-of-65) from the floor and 48.8 percent (21-of-43) from three, which ranks 48th in the country.
• G Tyler Sharpe exploded for a career-high 28 points at Morehead State. He made 8-of-14 shots, including 5-of-8 from three and 7-of-8 at the line.
• Sharpe’s 18 steals on the season are the ninth most in the country.
• G Zaynah Robinson poured in 20 points, while adding five boards and four assists in NKU’s win at MSU.
Last Time Out
A triple-double from McDonald and 20-point outbursts from both Sharpe (career-high 28) and Robinson (20), guided Northern Kentucky to a 93-71 win at Morehead State on Tuesday. McDonald scored 12 points, grabbed 14 boards and handed out 11 assists. The Norse shot 67.9 percent (19-of28) in the second half and 62.7 percent (37-of-59) for the game, while holding the Eagles to 36.2 percent (21-of-58) for the game. NKU also buried 57.1 percent of its threes, and dominated both points in the paint (42-18) and rebounding (40-27). This was the third-straight win in the series for Northern Kentucky.
UMBC is 4-3 on the year, but has lost each of its last two games, suffering setbacks to South Dakota (58-52) and American (73-69). The Retrievers are averaging 68 points behind 41.5 percent shooting, while allowing its opponents to shoot 40.1 percent en route to 60.9 ppg. Graduate Joe Sherburne leads the Retrievers in scoring at 12.6 points, but Brandon Horvath (11.3 ppg), Arkel Lamar (10.9), Max Curren (10.3) and KJ Jackson (9.9) all contribute at least 9.9 ppg to lead a balanced offensive attack.
UMBC made waves in last season’s NCAA Tournament when it became the first No. 16 to defeat a No. 1 seed. The Retrievers defeated Virginia, 74-54, in the opening round last season.
The Norse and Retrievers are meeting for just the second-time ever. UMBC held on for a one-point victory, 76-75, in Baltimore last season, as the Norse missed a shot from close range as the buzzer sounded. McDonald had 24 points, behind 8-of-17 shooting, and 11 rebounds in the game. Carson Williams added 21 points and Lavone Holland II chipped in 15 points, five boards and six assists. UMBC was led by Jairus Lyles, who poured in a game-high 31 points.
Bryan McEldowneyAssistant Athletic DirectorCommunications and Media ServicesNorthern Kentucky University