We have hit the most important part of the College Basketball Regular Season for most teams. Conference play, and the Norse were as prepared as any team I have ever seen for the Horizon League opener.
NKU fended off the IUPUI Jaguars tonight by a score of 92-77. The Norse were lead by star Drew McDonald who had 24 points and 12 rebounds in his final conference opener of his storied NKU career. The Norse started the game up 12-2 before IUPUI stormed back to tie the game at 16 each. The Norse also had a scary moment when Junior guard Tyler Sharpe took a rough fall that lead to him getting 7 staples in his head. Sharpe came back into the game to start the second half. The Norse also saw Grad Transfer Zaynah Robinson hit a huge shot right over half court at the buzzer to go to the half. Something Drew McDonald mentioned in the press conference as a "momentum swing."
John Brannen also included Freshman Adrian Nelson for just under 15 minutes in his first conference game ever. a 15 minutes Coach Brannen was very proud of. "I liked a lot, 10 points 4 of 5 from the free throw line, I really liked that." Coach Brannen said in regards to Nelson's performance. "Just energy. Defensively, rebounding, finishing, and they were big points. We were able to sustain a lead because of Adrian Nelson and the night he had."
The Norse are now 11-3, their best start to a season since going into Division 1 Men's College Basketball and so far this season look to be the class of the Horizon League. Up next for the Norse, a date with the UIC flames who are coming off a very exciting overtime win against Wright St tonight. This game will be Sunday at BB&T Arena with a 6:00 PM tip-off.
Tim Daniel is a Credentialed Divison 1 NCAA Mens Basketball Journalist currently covering the Northern Kentucky Norse and his beloved Xavier Musketeers. If you'd love to talk about these schools with Tim or any Basketball in general give him a Follow.