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Norse Pick Up First Horizon League Win in Route of Youngstown State

A strong effort on both ends of the floor led Northern Kentucky to its first Horizon League victory since joining the league this year, an 84-­64 defeat of Youngstown State at BB&T Arena on Thursday night.

Tyler White led an offensive outburst for the Norse and had an all­-around sensational game with 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists. NKU raced out to an early 9-­0 lead keyed by five points from White. The next seven minutes of action were a back-­and-­forth affair, but YSU was never able to get within fewer than four points during the stretch. That's when the Norse bolted out in front with a 19-­1 run and held a 46­-28 advantage at halftime.

White tallied 12 points in the stanza and was aided by eight points from both Cole Murray and Drew McDonald.

Youngstown State made a three­-pointer to open the second half and pull within 15, but Northern Kentucky (5-10, 1-3) didn't let the Penguins (7-11, 2-3) get any closer. An 8­-2 run was followed shortly thereafter by a 9-­1 run and NKU closed out YSU, 84-­64.

McDonald finished with 16 points and five rebounds, and Jalen Billups continued to show why he's one of the nation's top shooters, converting 6­ of ­7 attempts en route to 14 points. Cole Murray chipped in 11 points and seven boards, while Lavone Holland added seven rebounds and eight assists.

Northern Kentucky closes a three­-game home­stand with Cleveland State on Saturday at BB&T Arena.

Norse Notes:

  • The Norse defense stifled one of the Horizon League's top­scoring offenses. The Penguins entered averaging 88.8 points in conference games, but NKU held them to just 64 points.
  • Turnovers were key to NKU's first ­half success. The Norse scored 16 points off of nine Penguin turnovers.
  • After hauling in five first ­half rebounds, Cole Murray established a new career-­high in rebounds by the 18:44 mark of the second ­half. He finished with seven boards. White narrowly missed his first career double­-double, but the nine rebounds established a new career­-high for the senior.

NKU women hold off Oakland

Kasey Uetrecht had 21 points and led a quartet of players in double figures for the Northern Kentucky women's basketball team in a 75-­71 victory over Horizon League foe Oakland on Thursday evening.

Uetrecht went 10 ­for ­12 from the free­ throw line and scored 13 of her 21 points in the second half to push the Norse to 10-­5 overall and 2­-2 in Horizon League play. The sophomore forward added a team-­high eight rebounds and four assists on the day as well.

Christine Roush followed up with 16 points, including four treys. Sarah Kinch knocked down four triples of her own for a 14-point night while Molly Glick rounded out NKU's leading scorers with 10 points.

Olivia Nash paced Oakland (10-­6, 2-­3 Horizon) with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Elena Popkey added 14 points and seven rebounds while Taylor Jones and Taylor Gleason each had 11.

The Norse started out on fire, connecting on their first four attempts from the field to jump out to a 9-4 lead. NKU kept pace from there, winning the battle on the boards, 11­-8, in the first quarter to take an 18­-14 lead after 10 minutes. NKU had an answer for every Oakland basket early in the second quarter as Molly Glick picked up eight points, including back-­to-­back threes to spark an 8­-2 run and give NKU a 34­-23 lead with 3:58 to go until half.

The third quarter saw Oakland race out on a 12­-0 run to tie things up at 40-­40 just 2:20 into the period. The Norse traded bucket­-for-­bucket from there before finishing the final 2:37 of the quarter on a 12­-0 run of their own, keyed by a pair of Kinch treys, to make it 59-­49 entering the fourth quarter.

Again, Oakland shot out on a 10-­0 run to open the fourth quarter and tie the score at 59­-59, but Uetrecht was there to answer with a personal 7­-0 run that put the Norse up for good. Oakland got as close as four points, but NKU's defense held on for the finish.

The Norse look to continue their winning ways on Saturday at Detroit in a matinee contest. Tipoff is scheduled for noon with the action carried live on ESPN3.

Norse Notes: 

  • Uetrecht finished 10 ­for ­12 from the free­throw line, hitting eight of her first eight tries, and marked career highs for both makes and attempts from the charity stripe. Kinch's four made three pointers also marked a career high.
  • NKU went 6 ­for ­10 from long range in the first half and finished shooting 48 percent (12­ for ­25) from beyond the arc.
  • The Norse forced 16 Oakland turnovers, converting them into 14 points on the other end.

From NKU Athletics

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