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Northern Kentucky Holds On, Beats Cleveland State for 4th Straight Win

The Northern Kentucky Norse blew a 12-point lead but managed to hold on, surviving a missed last-second heave that would given Cleveland State the win in men's basketball action on Thursday night.

NKU's Drew McDonald, a Newport Central Catholic grad, scored the last 11 points for the Norse as the team won its fourth straight game, 62-60.

Freshman Carson Williams scored a career-high 22 points for Northern Kentucky, which improved to 18-9 on the season, and 9-5 in the Horizon League. The win streak comes as the regular season is set to wrap up, and the all-important seeding for the Horizon League tournament materializes. This is the first season since its transition to NCAA Division I that NKU is eligible to compete for the national championship if it wins the conference tournament title.

McDonald had 13 points and 13 rebounds to go along with 5 assists for the victorious Norse. 10 of his points came from the free throw line where he shot 10 for 13. 

The game almost slipped away from NKU, and the Vikings (8-19, 4-11) took the lead with just 57 seconds left. McDonald was able to put the Norse back on top with a pair of free throws at the 35 second mark. He would add one more free throw, and a last-second three attempt by Cleveland State missed.

Northern Kentucky travels to Youngstown State (10-18, 4-11) for a 7 p.m. tip on Saturday, then the Norse return home for the final three games of the regular season. Wright State, Illinois-Chicago, and league-leading Valparaiso will visit Highland Heights to close out the regular season.

-Staff report

Image via NKU