Norse secure regular season conference title, narrowly defeat Green Bay

McDonald breaks NKU all-time scoring record


Colin Johnson

Drew McDonald (34) reacts to a point during the game against IUPUI. McDonald had 24 points on the game.

NKU men’s basketball team eeked out a win against the Green Bay Phoenix 86-82, securing their second consecutive Horizon League season title.

Senior Drew McDonald broke NKU’s all-time scoring record with 2,011 all-time points, breaking the record previously held by Craig Booker in 2000 (2,007 points). McDonald had 13 points during Saturday’s match.

Redshirt sophomore Jalen Tate led the Norse with a 30 points, and three other Norse players including McDonald put up double-digits on Saturday.

The first half was a game of runs for both teams. NKU started off the game hot with a 7-0 run against the Phoenix. The team goes on yet another run of 8-0 to put the Norse ahead with 10 minutes left in play, junior guard Tyler Sharpe contributed 6 of the run points. With seven minutes left Green Bay secures an 11-0 run to cut their deficit down to four points, a score of 26-22. Green Bay continues to fight for the lead but the Norse don’t let up, the half ended tied 41-41.

The Norse shot 42 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three-point line, while the Phoenix 45 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc. NKU out-rebounded Green Bay 23-15 for the half.

The second half was a game of small leads, the Norse went on a 6-0 run to take the lead 60-57 with 10 minutes left in play. The Norse were able to extend the lead again to 67-59 with just under eight minutes of play in the game. Tate scored seven points during the lead extension in one minute of play.

McDonald hit the three-pointer that set the record for all-time leading scorer for NKU with 7:05 minutes left of play and took the lead, 70-61. Green Bay made a three-point basket to put the score 85-82 with 0:09 left in play. The Phoenix foul and put Sharpe on the line, he made one free throw to seal the win.

For the half the Norse maintained their shooting percentage, they shot 56.6 percent from the field and 43.75 percent from behind the arc. The Norse held Green Bay to 20 percent from the three-point line, a drastic change from the first half. The Norse out-rebounded the Phoenix 42-30 and the Norse bench out scored the Phoenix 24-12.

Not only did McDonald break an NKU record, but Tate beat his previous career high of 25 points against UIC.

The Norse are set to play a home match March 6 to kick off the Horizon League Tournament against 7 seed Detroit Mercy. Watch the game live on ESPN+ at 7 p.m.