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McDonald’s double-double leads NKU past IUPUI, 77-59

McDonald’s double-double leads NKU past IUPUI, 77-59 (NKU Athletics)

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (WKRC) - Nineteen-straight points in the first half, coupled with Drew McDonald's third-straight double-double, ushered in the Horizon League schedule for the Northern Kentucky men's basketball team with a 77-59 victory over IUPUI. The Norse improve to 8-5 on the season and 1-0 in league play, while the Jaguars slip to 3-9 overall (0-1 Horizon League).

STATS LEADERS

Drew McDonald had a double-double with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

Lavone Holland II added five points, but set the table with eight assists and zero turnovers. He added seven rebounds.

Carson Williams provided NKU with its second scorer in double figures with 11 points.

TURNING POINT

NKU's 19-0 run over a span of 8:46 in the opening half gave Northern Kentucky all the momentum headed into intermission. The Norse never looked back.

FIRST-HALF SUMMARY

After facing a nine-point deficit with 8:50 left in the first half, Northern Kentucky rode stifling defense that held IUPUI scoreless until 3.7 seconds remained in the stanza. The Norse scored 19-straight.

McDonald paced NKU with 10 points and seven rebounds.

The Norse converted 48 percent (13-of-27) of their shots, compared to just 26 percent (8-of-31) for the Jaguars.

SECOND-HALF SUMMARY

The Norse shot a blistering 67 percent (18-of-27) in the second half and held IUPUI to just 42 percent (13-of-31).

IUPUI scored the first basket of the second half on a three, but NKU responded with six-straight to take its first double-figure lead at 12.

The Norse extended their lead to 13 before five-straight from the Jaguars cut the margin to single digits.

Moments later, McDonald ignited an 8-0 Norse run and Northern Kentucky kept the margin at double figures for the rest of the game.

GAME NOTES

Northern Kentucky won the battle of the boards, 38-31, and outscored IUPUI 38-26 in the paint.

The Norse were right at their season average for assists, dishing out 18 in the contest. In addition to Holland's eight, McDonald and Mason Faulkner added three each.

McDonald started 1-for-6 and finished 11-for-16, making 10 shots in a row to close the game. His last miss came with 11:45 remaining in the first half.

McDonald has now registered a double-double in three-straight games. He has five on the season and 21 for his career.

Holland entered the game with 62 assists and a 2.38 assist-to-turnover ratio. Thanks to his eight assists and zero turnovers, the ratio jumped to 2.69.

Dantez Walton finished the game with seven points, six rebounds and a career-high three blocked shots.

Williams, who entered the game seventh in the nation in field-goal percentage, went 4-for-5.

NEXT UP

NKU returns to the hardwood Saturday, Dec. 30, when UIC comes to Highland Heights and BB&T Arena for a Horizon League matchup.

Information provided by NKU Athletics

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