Coming off a huge win against Detroit on Thursday evening, NKU was looking to build on that success at their annual homecoming game at BB&T. At what was the most attended regular season game in the history of NKU men's basketball (and the 3rd highest in the history of NKU), the Norse were hungry to put on a show. The visiting Oakland Golden Grizzlies were coming off a tough loss to Wright State on Friday. However, until Saturday night the Golden Grizzlies had never lost a game at BB&T.
Within the first 7 minutes, there were 9 three pointers exchanged however, perimeter defense clamped down and the grind to the basket took over. Drew McDonald was coming off a 3 game cold streak where he hadn't scored in double figures (the first time since Dec 2017). McDonald heated up with 8 of NKU's first 12 points. With a consistent back and forth during the entire first half, the Golden Grizzlies took a 36-32 halftime lead after a tip in buzzer beater layup by Jaevin Cumberland.
During the 2nd half, NKU took the lead and never looked back. NKU ended up winning their 2019 Homecoming game 79-64 in front of a record regular season audience of 6,792. The Norse were lead by Drew McDonald's 21 points, 13 rebound performance. Jalen Tate tallied 19 points and 6 assists. Jaevin Cumberland lead Oakland with 16 points and 3 steals.
After the game, McDonald said "shots weren't falling, we tightened up at half time, shots started to fall in the 2nd half and we focused". On the huge crowd tonight at NKU, Jalen Tate said "it's like having a 6th man out there. If we can keep that up, teams are going to be terrified of coming here". NKU Head Coach John Brannen added that Drew took a lot of pride in finally beating Oakland at BB&T.
The NKU Norse improves to 20-6 with this win. They play next on Friday evening away at Wright State at 9:00 p.m. EST on ESPNU.