The first leg of the 2019 Horizon League Men’s Basketball tournament kicks off on Wednesday, March 6. The Norse will face the seventh seed Detroit Mercy Titans at BB&T Arena with tip off at 7 p.m. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN+.
The Norse split the title of regular season champs with Wright State and take the two seed in the tournament. Last year, the team won the regular season title, but fell in the first round of the tournament against Cleveland State, the number eight seed.
The past two clashes, the Norse have been victorious over Detroit Mercy, with wins of over 19 and 30 points.
The Black and Gold have yet to stop an integral player of the Titans, freshman guard Antoine Davis. This season, he has dropped a total of 59 points on the Norse. Davis still leads the Horizon League in scoring with an average of 26 points per game. Davis also leads the league in three-pointers per game, averaging 4.4 a match.
Graduate student guard/forward Derrien King is the most consistent on the boards against the Norse, with a total of 11 on the year. King also averages 3.7 rebounds per game on the season.
Fighting for the home team, senior forward Drew McDonald is the second leading scorer in the conference, averaging 19.3 points per game. McDonald has put up 43 points and 13 rebounds against the Titans this season.
McDonald leads the conference in rebounds with an average of 9.6 per game.
NKU, on average, holds teams to 68.4 points a game. Detroit Mercy allows opponents to score 78.8 points, on average. NKU has held Detroit Mercy to 65, while Detroit has allowed NKU to score over 90 twice.
The Titans haven’t stopped the Norse from going inside, allowing 42 and 48 points in the paint in their last two contests. Detroit may have one of the sharpest shooters in the Horizon League, but their defensive efforts don’t stop enough shots to keep the Black and Gold down.
The winner of this game will go on to play the winner between number three seed, Oakland, and number six seed, Youngstown State, on Monday, March 11 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.