The Northern Kentucky men’s basketball team put four players in double figures against Milwaukee in a game that saw six ties and three lead changes, but the Norse ultimately fell to the Panthers, 68-58, at UWM Panther Arena on Thursday.
Northern Kentucky dips to 12-7 overall and 3-3 in the Horizon League while Milwaukee improves to 5-12 (1-3 HL).
· Lavone Holland II led the Norse with 17 points and a season-high seven assists – the most for any Norse player this season.
· Drew McDonald followed with 14 points and three rebounds while Cole Murray chipped in 11 points including a trio of 3-pointers. Murray also brought down seven rebounds, all on the defensive end.
· Williams was two rebounds shy of a double-double. The freshman posted 10 points and eight rebounds, six of which came on the defensive glass.

· The teams were tied at 30 at halftime. Upon returning to the court, NKU and Milwaukee continued to trade buckets with neither holding more than a four point lead until Milwaukee scored seven uninterrupted points for a 48-41 lead with 10:48 left in the game.
· A McDonald layup and free throw brought NKU back within four, but that would be the closest they would come to the Panthers throughout the remainder of the contest.

· After Milwaukee scored seven-straight points to recover from a 7-2 deficit in the early going, the Norse would put together a quick 8-0 run across a one minute span.
· The run put the Norse ahead, 15-9, with 13:30 left in the half as they claimed the largest lead for either team in the first period.
· The Panthers used a pair of triples to help out-score NKU, 8-3, over the next two minutes to come back within one point at 18-17 with 9:11 to play.
· NKU again increased its lead to six points with 6:13 left in the half but Milwaukee would gradually cut NKU’s lead to tie it up, 30-30, at halftime.
· Both teams struggled to connect to end the half, with NKU going 1-for-8 from the field while Milwaukee sunk two of its final eight attempts.

· The Panthers’ Brock Stull scored six points in the first three minutes of the second half to help Milwaukee open the period by building a 37-33 advantage.
· After the teams waged a back and forth battle, Milwaukee scored its seven uninterrupted points for a 48-41 lead with 10:48 left in the game.
· The Norse struggled from the field across the next five minutes, allowing Milwaukee to build a double-digit lead at 59-48 with 5:18 to play.
· A Murray triple brought the Norse back within seven with under four minutes remaining, but the Panthers would eventually build a game-high 12 point lead with just 36 seconds left.

· NKU has had four players score double figures in four of its six Horizon League contests this year.
· With his season-high mark in assists, Holland is now averaging 3.8 assists per game including 4.3 assists per League game.
· Murray’s three triples put him seventh all-time in career 3-point field goals made. He posted the 216th of his career to surpass Dennis Gagai (215).

· NKU will take a week off before returning home for a pair of games starting with a Friday, Jan. 20 matchup against Oakland. Tip-off from BB&T Arena is set for 7 p.m.

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by Melissa Powell