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Norse fall in final seconds to Illinois-Chicago

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Norse fall in final seconds to Illinois-Chicago

Drew McDonald (34) had 15 points and 8 rebounds Saturday in NKU's 79-77 loss to UIC.

Drew McDonald (34) had 15 points and 8 rebounds Saturday in NKU's 79-77 loss to UIC.

Matt Sexton

Drew McDonald (34) had 15 points and 8 rebounds Saturday in NKU's 79-77 loss to UIC.

Matt Sexton

Matt Sexton

Drew McDonald (34) had 15 points and 8 rebounds Saturday in NKU's 79-77 loss to UIC.

Matt Sexton, Sports Editor

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CHICAGO — A furious final-minute rally fell just short Saturday as the NKU men’s basketball team lost to Illinois-Chicago, 79-77.

Northern Kentucky (9-16, 5-9 in Horizon League) trailed by six, 78-72, with 1:01 remaining.

Cole Murray cut the deficit in half with a three-pointer with 49 seconds remaining. After two missed Gabe Snider free throws, NKU pulled within one with a Drew McDonald layup with 41 seconds left.

UIC’s Lance Whitaker made one of two free throws with 15 seconds left to give the Flames a 79-77 lead.

Following a Norse timeout, McDonald had a chance to tie in the final second. However, Tai Odiase was credited with his ninth block as McDonald was turned away at the buzzer.

Tyler White led the Norse with 21 points. McDonald finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Cole Murray had 13 points.

Odiase nearly finished with a triple-double. He had 12 points, 9 blocks and 8 rebounds. Dikembe Dixson led the Flames (5-19, 3-10) with 21 points and 7 rebounds.

The Norse return home 7 p.m. Tuesday for its final home game of the regular season against Detroit. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Summary

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016

@ UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois

Illinois-Chicago 79, Northern Kentucky 77

N — 37 – 40 — 77
I — 33 – 46 — 79

(77) NORTHERN KENTUCKY (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Garnett 1-0-4-6, Billups 2-0-0-4, Muray 5-3-0-13, White 8-2-3-21, Danos 2-1-2-7, Holland II 2-1-0-5, Gillis 0-0-2-2, Johnson 1-1-1-4, McDonald 6-1-2-15. TOTALS 27-9-14-77.

(79) ILLINOIS-CHICAGO (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Dixson 5-2-9-21, Young 3-0-4-10, Odiase 5-0-2-12, Whitaker 2-1-3-8, Kolawole 2-0-2-6, Torres 1-0-0-2, Snider 4-4-0-12, McGuire 2-0-0-4, Wiegand 0-0-4-4. TOTALS 24-7-24-79.

FIELD GOALS: N 27/64 (White 8/17, McDonald 6/12, Murray 5/10); I 24/64 (Dixson 5/17, Odiase 5/10, Snider 4/11)

3 POINT FIELD GOALS: N 9/26 (Murray 3/5, White 2/7); I 7/20 (Snider 4/10)

FREE THROWS: N 14/18 (Garnett 4/4); I 24/33 (Dixson 9/13)

REBOUNDS: N 34 (McDonald 8, Garnett 5, White 5); I 47 (Young 10, Odiase 8, Dixson 7)

ASSISTS: N 16 (Johnson 5, Danos 4); I 13 (Young 4)

STEALS: N 2; I 7

BLOCKED SHOTS: N 5 (McDonald 3); I 9 (Odiase 9)

TURNOVERS: N 11; I 10

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Norse fall in final seconds to Illinois-Chicago