The Norse grabbed their 13th win on the year and sixth in the conference in an offensive showcase in Milwaukee, beating the Panthers 91-64.
Three Norse players finished in double figures. Drew McDonald led the team with 25 points, Tyler Sharpe and Lavone Holland II both finished with 19 points. Both McDonald and Holland finished with double-doubles, McDonald with 12 rebounds and Holland with 10 assists.
The Norse had one of their best first-half performances on the season. McDonald and Holland both finished in double figures to close out the first half. McDonald with a team-leading 15 points and Holland right behind with 13. The Norse held the Panthers to 30 percent shooting in the first half compared to their 56 percent, including 5-13 beyond the arc.
Milwaukee didn’t get their first basket until the 16:37 mark off a layup and at one point was limited to just 22 percent shooting.
NKU’s largest lead of the half came at the half of 26 points 49-23. The Norse got the first score of the game off a Holland layup, followed by two-straight baskets from McDonald. Sharpe came off the bench to hit two straight three-points to add to the lead.
In the second half it was the Panthers who came out with some offensive firepower, starting with a seven-point run. The Norse took a while to click offensively after turning the ball over for their first two possessions. It wasn’t until the 16:57 mark when NKU made their first bucket of the second half.
Holland and McDonald were held in check in the second half, only scoring six and 10 points each. Holland did get seven assists in the half. The Norse, who average 33.6 percent beyond the arc, finished the game shooting 47.6 percent beyond the arc.
Even though Milwaukee shot 53.8 percent from the floor in the second half, the Norse lead was too much for them to overcome. The Norse shot 66 percent in the second half and 60 percent in the game. Sharpe hit three three-pointers in the second half, finishing 5-6 from beyond the arc in the game.
The Norse will travel to Green Bay to take on the Phoenix on Saturday January 20th at 1 p.m. ET (12 p.m. CT). The game can be seen on ESPN3 and heard on ESPN 1530.