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McDonald scores 32 as Norse beat Morehead State

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McDonald scores 32 as Norse beat Morehead State

NKU's Drew McDonald (34) had a career-high 32 points Wednesday in a win over Morehead State.

NKU's Drew McDonald (34) had a career-high 32 points Wednesday in a win over Morehead State.

Matt Sexton

NKU's Drew McDonald (34) had a career-high 32 points Wednesday in a win over Morehead State.

Matt Sexton

Matt Sexton

NKU's Drew McDonald (34) had a career-high 32 points Wednesday in a win over Morehead State.

Matt Sexton, Managing Editor

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MOREHEAD, Kentucky — An impressive season for Drew McDonald reached new heights Wednesday night.

The sophomore forward scored a career-high 32 points as Northern Kentucky defeated Morehead State 84-79.

McDonald, who has now scored 20 or more points in five straight games, also had 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the young season.

It was a tight game between the two schools. Neither team led by more than six.

After leading 39-37 at the intermission, Morehead State (2-4) stretched its lead to six, 52-46, with 15:54 left in the second half.

NKU (4-3) would score the next seven points to take its first lead of the second half. A McDonald three followed by four free throws by freshman Carson Williams gave the Norse a 53-52 lead with 14:10 left.

Morehead State would surge ahead once again and would maintain a lead over the next four minutes. Trailing by four, 64-60, McDonald scored followed by a Cole Murray three. NKU led 65-64 with 10:12 left.

The game was back-and-forth the rest of the way. NKU led 76-73 with 3:44 remaining. Jordan Walker would tie the game with a three for Morehead State with 3:16 left. 

Lamontray Harris would give the Eagles the lead, 78-76, with 2:20 remaining. Morehead State would only score one more point the rest of the way.

McDonald would make a free throw to pull the Norse within one with 1:43 left. Just 43 seconds later, McDonald would hit a layup to give NKU a lead it would not relinquish, 79-78.

Free throw opportunities were critical throughout the game. NKU would score its next six points from the line to put the game away.

For the game, NKU made 20 of 31 from the line, including 18 of 26 (69.2 percent) in the second half. Morehead State attempted just 9 free throws, making 6.

In addition to McDonald’s strong game, four other Norse players scored in double figures. Jalen Tate had 13, Murray and Lavone Holland II had 12 each and Williams had 11.

NKU shot 51.9 percent for the game, including a blistering 61.9 percent in the second half (13 of 21).

Malik Maitland led Morehead State with 18 points and 7 assists.

The Norse will continue its two-game road trip 6 p.m. Saturday at Norfolk State. The game will be broadcast on 1360-AM.

Summary

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016

at Johnson Arena, Morehead, Kentucky

Northern Kentucky 84, Morehead State 79

N — 37 – 47 — 84
M — 39 – 40 — 79

(84) NORTHERN KENTUCKY (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Tate 5-1-2-13, Williams 2-0-7-11, Holland II 4-0-4-12, McDonald 12-3-5-32, Gillis 1-0-2-4, Murray 4-4-0-12. TOTALS 28-8-20-84.

(79) MOREHEAD STATE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Williams 1-0-0-2, Dicent 6-3-1-16, Maitland 7-1-3-18, Marrero 5-0-2-12, Moon 4-3-0-11, Walker 2-1-0-5, Harris 7-1-0-15. TOTALS 32-9-6-79.

FIELD GOALS: N 28/54 (McDonald 12/14, Tate 5/9, Murray 4/9, Holland 4/13); M 32/63 (Maitland 7/14, Harris 7/14, Dicent 6/9)

3 POINT FIELD GOALS: N 8/19 (Murray 4/9, McDonald 3/4); M 9/14 (Moon 3/5, Dicent 3/4)

FREE THROWS: N 20/31 (Williams 7/7, McDonald 5/9, Holland 4/7); M 6/9 (Maitland 3/3)

REBOUNDS: N 34 (McDonald 11, Garnett 8, Williams 4); M 27 (Marrero 6, Harris 4, Dicent 4)

ASSISTS: N 13 (Holland 6); M 19 (Maitland 7, Moon 6)

STEALS: N 5; M 4

BLOCKED SHOTS: N 2 (McDonald 2); M 3

TURNOVERS: N 14; M 11

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McDonald scores 32 as Norse beat Morehead State