Norse fall to league-leading Valparaiso


Drew McDonald (34), Carson Williams (23), Jeff Garrett (4), and Cole Murray (25) walk on to the court after a timeout.

Austin Elmore, Assistant Sports Editor

The NKU men’s basketball team lost to Horizon League leading Valparaiso on 65-58 on Sunday. The Norse pulled to within two points late in the game, but the Crusaders held off the Norse for their 18th win of the season. NKU now sits at 14-9, and 5-5 in Horizon League play.

Lavone Holland II led the Norse with 13 points, including back-to-back triples to start the game, and five assists while Drew McDonald added 10 points and six rebounds. Cole Murray revived the Norse in the first half, sinking two triples to jumpstart the offense.

The Norse shot 45 percent in the first half and only trailed the Crusaders by one point at halftime, overcoming a 14-2 run by the Crusaders through much of the first half. NKU answered with a run of their own that saw the Norse convert on seven of eight attempts, six of which were three-pointers.

Valpo answered right back in the second period, opening the half on an 8-0 run. The Norse spent the rest of the half clinging to a single-digit deficit, but halfway through, NKU trailed by double-digits. The Norse then went on a 12-4 run over six minutes to bring the deficit to within two.

The Crusaders, led by Shane Hammink (21 points) and Alec Peters (16 points, three assists, three steals), held off the Norse just long enough to close out a seven point win. NKU’s defense played well though, holding Valpo to just 65 points, compared to their 77 point average.

The Norse travel to Dayton on Saturday Feb. 4 to play Wright State for a 7 p.m. tip-off with the Raiders. The game will be available to watch on ESPN3 and will be aired on Fox Sports 1360.