In a matchup of two teams at the top of the Horizon League standings, Wright State prevailed with an 84-81 win over Northern Kentucky on Thursday evening. With the win, the Raiders move to 13-5 overall and 5-0 in the League. NKU falls to 11-6 on the season and 4-1 in the Horizon League.


Four NKU players were in double figures, led by Lavone Holland II with 22 points. He also added five rebounds and five assists.
Drew McDonald had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Carson Williams tallied 13 points and Tyler Sharpe contributed 10 points.
Wright State also had four players score in double digits, and the Raiders’ Grant Benzinger led all scorers with 31 points.


Beginning at the 8:52 minute mark in the second half, Wright State outscored NKU 16-5 over the next 4:47 of the period to take a 73-67 lead with 4:05 to play. The Norse got to within one possession with both 1:41 and 1:08 remaining, but couldn’t overcome the deficit.


With NKU leading 8-5, Wright State went on a 12-0 run early in the first half to take a 17-8 lead with 15:46 to play in the first half.
The Norse battled back to tie the game at 32-32 with 4:32 to play in the first half. NKU went on a 10-0 run over a span of 1:48 in the half.
The Raiders took a 40-38 lead into the break.
NKU shot 12-of-29 (41.4%) from the floor in the half.
Wright State went 14-of-27 (51.9%) on field goals during the period.
McDonald had 11 points in the period, and Holland and Jalen Tate each added nine points for the Norse.
NKU had a 10-2 advantage on points off of turnovers. The Norse forced seven turnovers in the half, thanks in part to five steals. Tyler Sharpe had two steals in the half.
The Raiders’ Benzinger led all scorers in the half with 16 points.


The second half featured eight ties and six lead changes.
NKU went on an 8-0 run to take a 62-57 lead with 9:11 left in the game.
The Raiders proceeded to go on a 9-0 run to take a 66-62 lead with 6:21 to play.
The Norse got within one point at 68-67 with 4:49 to play, but Wright State scored five-straight points to take a 73-67 lead.
NKU made it a one possession game at 1:41 and 1:08, but couldn’t get any closer down the stretch.
The Norse shot 16-of-34 (47.1%) from the field in the period.
Wright State went 15-of-25 (60.0%) on field goals in the half.


The Norse scored 26 points on turnovers compared to Wright State’s six points.
NKU forced 17 turnovers, thanks in part to 10 steals.
Drew McDonald recorded his seventh double-double of the season and fifth in the last seven games.
NKU went 28-of-63 (44.4%) from the field for the game, and the team also had a 17-of-20 (85.0%) showing at the free throw line.
Wright State went 29-of-52 (55.8%) on the night, including a 5-of-11 (45.5%) performance from behind the arc.
The attendance at BB&T Arena was 4,987, which was the largest for an NKU home game this season.


NKU hosts Cleveland State on Monday, Jan. 15. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at BB&T Arena.

Ryan Wilker

Northern Kentucky University