The Northern Kentucky University men’s basketball team defeated Green Bay on Saturday evening by a final score of 86-80 for its fifth-straight win. The Norse move to 19-7 overall and 12-2 in the Horizon League. Green Bay falls to 10-18 on the season and 5-10 in league play. Combined with Wright State’s loss to Milwaukee, the Norse are now in sole possession of first place in the Horizon League.
Tyler Sharpe was the leading scorer for NKU with a career-high-tying 19 points. He went 6-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-9 on three-point attempts.
Lavone Holland II added 17 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
Drew McDonald recorded his 13th double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds.
Jordan Garnett finished with 10 points, six assists, and four rebounds.
NKU led 72-71 with 5:16 to play in the game. A three-pointer by Sharpe and a layup by Lavone Holland II gave NKU a 77-71 lead. The Norse held the Phoenix at bay by at least three points the rest of the way.
NKU used a 10-0 run early in the game to jump out to a 12-2 lead.
Green Bay pulled within four points at 16-12 with 13:59 to play in the game.
However, the Norse extended their lead to as much as 15 and took a 47-37 advantage into halftime.
NKU went 20-of-35 (57.1%) from the floor and 6-of-13 (46.2%) on three-point attempts during the half.
The Norse held Green Bay to 12-of-36 (33.3%) shooting on field goals and 5-of-14 (35.7%) from behind the arc.
NKU had nine different players score in the half. Garnett, Holland and Sharpe each had eight points for the Norse.
NKU had 11 assists on 20 made field goals.
The Norse also had a 26-8 advantage in points in the paint and a 20-8 advantage in bench points.
The second half featured four ties and six lead changes.
Green Bay took its first lead of the game at 63-62 with 11:00 to play.
NKU led 72-71 with 5:16 to play in the game, that’s when the Norse scored five-straight points to build a six-point advantage.
Sharpe hit three 3-pointers over a stretch of 3:03 late in the second half to prevent Green Bay from coming back into the game.
The Norse were 9-of-25 (36.0%) on field goals in the half and 3-of-12 (25.0%) on three-point attempts. The free throw line proved to be key for NKU, as the Norse converted 18-of-19 free throws in the half.
Green Bay went 13-of-34 (38.2%) from the floor and 8-of-15 from behind the arc.
Tonight’s final attendance of 6,455 was the second most in the Division I era.
McDonald’s double-double was his 11th in the last 16 games. He has 13 on the year.
Sharpe matched his career-high 19 points that he posted against Milwaukee when the Norse defeated the Panthers on the road.
The Norse finished the game 19-of-20 (95.0%) from the free throw line.
NKU shot 29-of-60 (48.3%) from the floor during the game and 9-of-25 (36.0%) on three-point attempts.
Green Bay finished 25-of-70 (35.7%) on field goals and 13-of-29 (44.8%) on attempts from behind the arc.
The Norse had 17 assists on 29 made field goals.
NKU had a 38-18 points in the paint advantage.
The Norse bench also outscored Green Bay’s bench 33-18.
NKU travels to Wright State, which sits one game behind the Norse in the Horizon League standings, for a showdown on Friday, Feb. 16. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The Norse are trying to avenge an early conference loss to the Raiders, who beat NKU 84-81 at BB&T Arena earlier this season.
Northern Kentucky University
Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant