A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKU to face rugged road game Sunday at prolific-shooting Maryland-Baltimore County

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

Expect a barrage of 3-pointers to be launched by the hosts Sunday afternoon when Northern Kentucky University visits the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

UMBC leads the nation in 3-pointers made with 151, including 14 treys on Tuesday night during an 81-74 victory against Coppin State. The Retrievers have knocked down at least 10 shots from 3-point range in each of their past 11 games.

Jairus Lyles led UMBC with 27 points against Coppin State. Arkel Lamar collected a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Retrievers improved to 7-5.

Lyles tops UMBC in scoring at 20.8 points per game, while Lamar averages 15.0 points and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds per contest. The Retrievers are scoring 81.8 points per game and are unbeaten (5-0) at home this season.

NKU is 7-3 after posting a 91-63 victory over Eastern Kentucky last Sunday at BB&T Arena. The Norse shot 71.4 percent from the field in the second half to run away from EKU and finished with a whopping 64-22 advantage in points in the paint.

NKU’s Drew McDonald

The Norse inside duo of Drew McDonald (23 points, nine rebounds) and Carson Williams (21 points, six rebounds, five steals) dominated play around the basket, combining for 19-of-23 shooting from the field. McDonald leads NKU in scoring at 15.3 points per game. The 6-foot-7 junior forward also tops the Norse in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and has made 83.9 percent of his free throws.

Williams, a 6-6 sophomore forward, is No. 6 nationally in field-goal percentage at .709. He averages 14.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

NKU senior guard Lavone Holland II averages 14.0 points per game and has dished out a team-leading 49 assists (4.9 apg). He enters the UMBC game with 948 career points.

Defensively, NKU has limited opponents to 28.6 percent shooting from 3-point range this season. UMBC enters Sunday having knocked down 42.4 percent of its attempts from beyond the arc. The Retrievers have launched 356 shots from 3-point range (an average of 29.7 per game) this season.

This will be the first meeting between NKU and UMBC.

Following the game at UMBC, the Norse will fly to College Station, Texas, where they will meet nationally ranked Texas A&M on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The Aggies (9-1) are currently ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press poll.

NKU returns home to begin Horizon League play on Dec. 28, when IUPUI visits BB&T Arena at 7:30 p.m. The Norse will continue league play with another home game on Dec. 30 against Illinois at Chicago at 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 17
RAC Arena (4,024 capacity), Baltimore, Md.
NKU (7-3) at UMBC (7-5), noon
Radio: FoxSports 1360 AM
TV: ESPN3

Contact Don Owen at don@nkytrib.com

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