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NKU men advance in Bahamas Showcase Saturday night 85-72 against Iona; final game tonight

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Special to NKyTribune

NASSAU, Bahamas — Torrid shooting from the field keyed Northern Kentucky University’s 85-72 win over Iona College in the semifinals of the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase on Saturday night.

NKU made 55.4 percent of its shots from the field and cruised into Sunday’s championship game against Vermont. The unbeaten Norse (4-0) built a 45-33 halftime lead by connecting on 56.3 percent of their field goal attempts and never trailed.

Sophomore forward Carson Williams netted 13 of his game-high 20 points before halftime to lead NKU.

Williams finished 9-of-11 from the field and added six rebounds. Junior forward Drew McDonald scored 15 points for the Norse, while freshman guard Jalen Tate added 14 points, three steals and three assists.

Senior guard Lavone Holland II chipped in 11 points, including a pair of clutch 3-pointers late in the game. Holland buried a 3-pointer with 2:21 remaining to extend the Norse lead to 77-68, and he followed that with another trey at the 1:38 mark to give NKU an 80-70 advantage.

NKU sophomore swingman Dantez Walton scored all nine of his points in the second half. Walton also drained a key 3-pointer with 3:44 left in the game that extended a 70-66 Norse lead to 73-66.

Zach Lewis led Iona (1-3) with 19 points. The Gaels shot 45.8 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers. It marked the first meeting between NKU and Iona in men’s basketball.

NKU will meet Vermont — an 80-67 winner against Coastal Carolina on Saturday in the other semifinal contest — Sunday at 8 p.m. in the championship game. The Catamounts are 2-1 entering Sunday’s game, which will also be the first meeting between NKU and Vermont on the basketball court.

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