A monstrous first half on both ends of the floor helped the Northern Kentucky men’s basketball team roll past UIC on Saturday evening by a final score of 86-51. The Norse improve to 9-5 overall and 2-0 in the Horizon League. UIC falls to 5-10 and 0-2 in League play.
Drew McDonald had 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead all players. This marked his fourth-straight game with a double-double.
Mason Faulkner added 15 points, and Lavone Holland II had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
UIC’s Marcus Ottey led the Flames with 15 points.
NKU outscored UIC 35-8 over the first 14:01 of the contest to put the game out of reach.
The Norse put together two runs of 10 points, as well nine- and eight-point spurts during the half.
The score was tied 2-2 at the 17:45 mark, and NKU outscored UIC 41-8 over the next 13:26 to take a 43-10 with 4:19 remaining in the half. The Norse went into the locker room at halftime with a 49-16 advantage.
Northern Kentucky had 15 assists on 17 made field goals in the first half.
NKU shot 17-of-36 (47.2%) from the floor and 8-of-15 (53.3%) from behind the arc. The Norse also went 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.
McDonald and Holland each had 12 points in the first half, and Faulkner contributed 10 points.
The Norse also had 15 second-chance points, compared to none for UIC.
NKU held UIC to 7-of-27 (25.9%) from the floor and 0-of-7 from the three-point line.
The Norse had a 28-14 rebounding advantage over UIC in the first half.
NKU went on a 9-0 run toward the end of the second half and led by as much as 41 with 5:06 remaining in the contest. The Norse coasted to an 86-51 victory.
NKU went 10-of-27 (37.0%) from the floor and 2-of-6 (33.3%) from the three-point line in the half.
The Norse also shot 15-of-21 (71.4%) at the charity stripe.
UIC was 13-of-29 (44.8%) on field goals in the half, but just 2-of-8 (25.0%) from behind the arc.
Twelve different players saw action for the Norse in the half.
Drew McDonald had a double-double for the fourth-consecutive game. McDonald was also the last Norse player to achieve the feat. He did so in a four-game stretch from Dec. 31, 2016 – Jan. 10, 2017, last season.
NKU shot 27-of-63 (42.9%) on field goals and 10-of-21 (47.6%) from the three-point line. The Norse also went 22-of-28 (78.6%) from the charity stripe.
As one of the top three-point defensive teams in the country, the Norse held UIC to just 2-of-15 (13.3%) shooting from beyond the arc in the game.
The Norse finished the game with 22 assists, which is the fifth game this season that NKU has had more than 20 assists.
Northern Kentucky forced 18 turnovers in the game, thanks in part to 10 steals in the contest.
The Norse outrebounded UIC 46-34 in the game.
NKU’s bench outscored UIC’s bench by a 35-19 margin.
Ten different players scored for the Norse in the game.
The Norse never trailed in the contest.
NKU will head to Oakland on Friday, Jan. 5, for a nationally-televised game. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
Northern Kentucky University