Turnovers, Second Half Dooms Northern Kentucky at Green Bay
Northern Kentucky had all the makings of another win - a 10-point halftime lead and another strong performance from sophomore Drew McDonald. But Green Bay roared back on its home floor in the second half, outscoring the Norse by 19 and running away with an 80-71 win on Tuesday night.
McDonald, the Newport Central Catholic grad who was named the Horizon League Player of the Week after shelling out 37 points on Saturday, scored a game-high 23 points and nabbed 12 rebounds for the Norse in the losing effort.
With its sixth straight win, Green Bay remains unbeaten in the Horizon League at 4-0 and 10-6 overall. Northern Kentucky drops to 12-6 and 3-2 in the conference.
Cole Murray added 11 points for the Norse and Carson Williams put up 10, including 9 in the first half.
Though the Norse bolted to a ten-point lead at halftime, the Phoenix used a 13-0 run early in the second to take the lead, 53-52 with 13 minutes left in the game. McDonald hit a 3 that put NKU back in front but Green Bay answered with another 8-0 run and took the lead for good.
The Norse led by as many as 15 in the second half before the lead slipped away following those runs by Green Bay. NKU turned the ball over 19 times, resulting in 34 points for the Phoenix.
A late comeback attempt by the Norse saw Green Bay held without a basket for more than four minutes and the lead cut to five at 76-71 with just over 2 minutes left, but sharp shooting at the free throw line preserved the win.
With his fourth consecutive double-double, McDonald has racked up 88 points and 47 rebounds in the last four games. He has scored more than 20 points in eight games this season.
NKU out-rebounded Green Bay, 43-29, and has won the rebound battle in 16 of its 18 games this season, averaging 40.14 per game, placing the Norse at #32 in the nation in that category.
Murray is two three-pointers away from moving into seventh all-time at NKU. He has 213 career threes.
NKU remains in Wisconsin and heads to face Milwaukee on Thuesday at 8 p.m.
Image via NKU