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McDonald earns Horizon League weekly honor; Temple scores 28 for unbeaten Thomas More

NKyTribune staff

Northern Kentucky University senior standout Drew McDonald has been named the Nike Horizon League Player of the Week for the second straight week and the fourth time in the season’s first eight weeks.

The Cold Spring native registered a pair of double-doubles in wins over IUPUI and Illinois-Chicago to begin Horizon League play. He has now notched four straight double-double performances, and his eight double-doubles are the fifth-most in the nation.

NKU’s Drew McDonald grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds against Illinois-Chicago on Sunday night. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

McDonald opened league play with a 24-point, 12-rebound showing in Northern Kentucky’s 92-77 win over IUPUI on Friday night. As an encore, McDonald followed that performance with 19 points and a career-high 20 rebounds against UIC, becoming just the 10th player in NCAA Division I this year with a 20-rebound performance.

McDonald also became the first Norse player to accomplish the feat since Jim McMillan pulled down 23 boards against Anderson (Ind.) on Dec. 18, 1972. The NKU single-game record for rebounds is 24, set by Marvin Johnson on Feb. 1, 1972, against Campbellsville.

The last Horizon League player with 20 or more rebounds in a game was Cleveland State’s Norris Cole, who grabbed 20 boards against Youngstown State on Feb. 12, 2011.

This is the fourth time this season and eighth time in McDonald’s career that he has earned Horizon League Player of the Week distinctions. He previously collected the award on Nov. 19, Dec. 3 and Dec. 23 this season.

McDonald, the two-time Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year and two-time league first team honoree, is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, as well as a candidate for the Lou Henson Award presented to the nation’s best mid-major player and the Naismith Hall of Fame Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award.

NKU is 12-3 overall, its best start in the Division I era, and travels to Rochester, Mich., for a Thursday evening contest against Oakland, which also started league play at 2-0.

Thomas More’s Madison Temple (left) was honored prior to Sunday’s game for setting the career scoring record on Dec. 28. TMU head coach Jeff Hans (right) has led the Saints to an 18-0 start.

THOMAS MORE WOMEN STILL PERFECT: The Thomas More University women’s basketball team, ranked No. 2 nationally in the NCAA Division III poll, defeated in-state rival Centre College, 81-51, at the Connor Convocation Center on Sunday. The Saints improved to 18-0, while the Colonels fell to 8-4.

Madison Temple led all scorers with 28 points, while dishing out four assists and pulling down five rebounds. Temple was also honored prior to the game for setting the Thomas More women’s basketball career scoring record on Dec. 28.

Shelby Rupp added 16 points and a team-leading eight rebounds for Thomas More, which has not lost a regular-season game in more than a year.

The Saints’ last defeat in the regular season occurred on Nov. 18, 2017, when Rochester (N.Y.) pulled out a 61-58 win over visiting Thomas More.

Thomas More returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts future Mid-South Conference foe Pikeville. The tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center.

(Information compiled from NKU Athletics Communications, Thomas More and staff reports)

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