NKU MBB hosts Milwaukee in Homecoming tilt

Northern Kentucky men’s basketball welcomes Milwaukee to BB&T Arena for a 7 p.m. Horizon League showdown on Saturday, Feb. 11. The game is part of Northern Kentucky University’s Homecoming festivities, which includes coronation of the King and Queen at halftime.

Game Information
Northern Kentucky University Norse (16-9 Overall, 7-5 Horizon League)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers (8-18 Overall, 4-9 Horizon League)
Saturday, Feb. 11 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
BB&T Arena (9,400) in Highland Heights, Ky.
TV: ESPN3 with Brady Laber (play-by-play) and Brad Redford (analysis)
Radio: ESPN1530 (1530 AM) with Jim Kelch (play-by-play) and Steve Moeller (analysis)

Fast Break Points
• NKU guaranteed itself of a winning regular-season record with its 16th win of the year, toppling Green Bay, 69-67, on Thursday night.
• Thursday’s win was a complete team effort, as nine players saw the court and each of them played at least 15 minutes. All nine scored and recorded an assist. Seven hauled in a rebound.
• The Norse have won four of their last five contests, outscoring opponents by an average score of 78-72 during that time.
• NKU sits at 16-9 on the season, and has established a new Division I-era record for wins, topping the 13 recorded in the 2014-15 season as a member of the Atlantic Sun.
• NKU hosts Milwaukee on Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Homecoming game for the Norse, where NKU rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit to earn the 75-71 win. Saturday’s game is also part of this year’s Homecoming festivities as NKU looks to better its 1-3 record against Milwaukee.
• The 70-point plateau is key for NKU this year. Northern Kentucky is 15-3 when scoring at least 70 points and 11-2 when holding opponents to 70 or fewer points.
• NKU was picked to finish 7th in the Horizon League in the preseason poll, and with six games left the team sits tied fourth at 7-5 with Wright State, but the Norse hold the tie-break over the Raiders.
• F Cole Murray played a little string music with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-10 from 3-point territory in NKU’s win over Green Bay Thursday. He ranks No. 22 nationally with 79 made threes this year and No. 31 in 3-point shooting percent, converting 42 percent.
• Murray has now made at least three 3-point field goals in eight of the last nine games. The senior sharp-shooter has made a triple in 24-of-25 games this year.
• F Drew McDonald leads NKU in scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounds (7.5 rpg). He has now reached double figures in 12-straight games, all of which are Horizon League contests.
• F Carson Williams, a two-time Horizon League Freshman of the Week honoree, is fourth on the team in scoring at 10.5 ppg and second in rebounding (6.0 rpg).
• G Lavone Holland II is second in scoring at 13.7 ppg, but leads the team in assists with 3.9 apg.
• G Mason Faulkner has scored in double figures five times on the year and the Norse are 4-1 in those games (lone loss is at Oakland). He is averaging 7.6 ppg on the season, but in League games his scoring average elevates to 12.1 ppg.
• G Dantez Walton has provided a huge lift for the Norse off the bench in the last four games, averaging 8.0 ppg.

Scouting Milwaukee
Milwaukee is just 8-18 on the season, including 4-9 in the Horizon League, and is on a four-game losing skid in which two of the loses came in overtime. That skid, however, comes on the heels of a three-game win streak. The Panthers are led by Cody Wichman’s 13.3 ppg, while Brock Stull adds 13.1 ppg. Milwaukee is one of the slowest teams in the nation based on KenPom’s adjusted tempo, with the Panthers ranking 342nd in the country at 63.0 possessions per game. At 19.4 seconds per possession, the Panthers hold the ball on offense longer than 331 teams in the nation.

All-Time Series
Milwaukee sports a 3-1 all-time record versus Northern Kentucky, including a 68-58 victory in the first meeting this season. In that game, NKU was playing its fourth game in an eight-day stretch, while Milwaukee was playing for just the second time in 12 days. Holland tallied 17 points to lead four Norse in double figures. Brock Stull posted 18 to lead Milwaukee. This marks the second-straight year the Norse and Panthers will meet on NKU’s Homecoming. Northern Kentucky rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit for a 75-71 win. Tyler White connected on a clutch three to push NKU ahead by four with just seconds remaining. In four career games against the Panthers, Holland is averaging 15.3 ppg. McDonald has averaged 12.3 ppg and Cole Murray 10.5.

Last Time Out
NKU built as much as an 18-point lead in the opening stanza and then weathered a steady second-half comeback from Green Bay in a 69-67 victory, which pitted the second-place team (Green Bay) against a team tied for fourth in the league standings. Murray let off a barrage of threes en route to 17 points to lead NKU. McDonald, Jeff Garrett and Brennan Gillis each added 10. Perhaps what stands out most is the contribution each Norse had on the game. Nine players saw action and all nine scored and had an assist. Seven of the nine collected a rebound. NKU lost the battle of the boards, 35-27, for just the fifth time this year, but won the turnover battle, 16-10. Both teams shot 48 percent for the game, but NKU converted 40 percent from long range and, as one of the nation’s top 3-point defensive teams, held Green Bay to just 19 percent from beyond the arc.

Join the Uprising!

Bryan McEldowney
Assistant Athletic Director
Communications and Media Services
Northern Kentucky University

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