In a matchup of two 2017 NCAA Tournament teams, Northern Kentucky emerged with a convincing 81-63 win over ETSU. The Norse start the 2017-18 season with a 1-0 record, while the Bucs fall to 0-1.
Drew McDonald recorded his 17th career double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Lavone Holland II added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Carson Williams chipped in 15 points and six rebounds.
NKU outscored ETSU, 19-2, over a span of 5:54 minutes. The run started with 1:37 left in the first half and went until the Bucs’ Jermaine Long hit a free throw at 15:43 in the second half.
The Norse got off to a cold start, shooting 0-for-7 from the floor to ope the game.
At the first media timeout, NKU trailed ETSU, 6-4. The Norse proceeded to go on an 8-0 run to take a 12-6 lead and didn’t trail the rest of the way.
ETSU got within one point at 14-13, but NKU went on a 9-0 run to jump out to a 23-13 lead. Williams scored the final seven points in the run for the Norse.
Trailing by 10 points, ETSU went on a 9-0 run of its own that ended with seven minutes left in the half. But, NKU slowly pushed back out.
NKU shot 12-of-34 (35.3%) from the floor and 6-of-21 (28.6%) from beyond the arc in the half.
Despite a low shooting percentage, the Norse were able to take a 41-32 lead into the half thanks in part to an 11-of-13 (84.6%) performance from the charity stripe.
The Norse set the tone early in the second half, going up by 21 points with 16:56 left to play in the period. An 8-0 run, which was capped by McDonald’s three-point basket, helped the Norse extend their lead.
NKU brought its lead to as much as 26 points in the half.
The Norse held ETSU to 10-of-30 (33.3%) shooting from the floor and 1-of-11 (9.1%) from behind the arc in the stanza.
NKU’s offense was much-improved, as the team shot 15-of-32 (46.9%) in the second frame.
Northern Kentucky had nine steals in the contest and forced 20 ETSU turnovers.
NKU held ETSU to 22-of-60 (36.7%) shooting overall.
The Norse finished the game 18-of-21 (85.7%) from the free throw line, led by a 10-of-10 showing from Holland and 6-of-6 by McDonald.
NKU led for nearly 90 percent of the game. The last ETSU advantage occurred at 15:38 in the first half.
Nine different NKU players scored for the Norse.
The Norse will host Wilmington College on Sunday, Nov. 12. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. at BB&T Arena.
Northern Kentucky University
Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant