On Tuesday night, the Northern Kentucky Norse will take on the Wright State Raiders in the Horizon League championship game with the winner earning a spot in the big dance. These 2 teams split the regular season series with each team protecting their home court. The Norse won 68-64 and home, and the Raiders won 81-77 in the game at their place.
Strong Performances Up Till Now
Northern Kentucky is coming off a 64-63 thriller against Oakland in their semifinal game. Drew McDonald hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with just under 2 seconds remaining to clinch the win. McDonald led the Norse with 18 points on 7 of 231 shooting and led the team on the glass with 11 rebounds to go with 5 assists. Jalen Tate tallied 14 points on 6 of 18 shooting to go along with 5 assists. Tyler Sharpe was the only other Norse in double figures with 10 points on 3 of 7 shooting to go along with 5 rebounds. Dantez Walton and Chris Vogt each added 8 points.
Wright State had a much easier time in their semifinal game, defeating Green Bay by a score of 66-54 to earn their spot in the championship game. Bill Wampler led the Raiders with 18 points on 6 of 12 shooting off the bench to go along with 4 rebounds. Loudon Love was the only other Raider in double figures with 10 points on just 3 of 11 shooting to go along with a team-high 12 rebounds. Cole Gentry and Malachi Smith each tallied 9 points. Mark Hughes led the team in assists with 5 to go along with 5 points and 8 rebounds.
High Scorers on Both Teams
Northern Kentucky is led by Drew McDonald, who is averaging 19.3 points per game to go along with 9.5 rebounds which is also a team high. He is averaging 2.7 assists a game and is shooting 42.6% from 3-point range. Tyler Sharpe is averaging 14.4 points a game, and Jalen Tate is chipping in 13.9 per contest. Tate is also the leading assister with 4 a game and is chipping in 4.5 rebounds a game. Dantez Walton is the only other Norse averaging double figures with 11 to go along with 5.3 rebounds a game. Northern Kentucky is averaging 79.7 points a game on 48.4% shooting and are allowing opponents to score 69 points a game.
Wright State is led by big man Loudon Love, who is averaging 15.5 points per game and is the leading rebounder with 8.1 a game and is shooting 51.3% from the field. Bill Wampler is averaging 14.8 points per game to go along with 3.5 rebounds per contest. Cole Gentry is the only other Raider averaging double figures with 11.7 a game and is leading the team in assists with 3.4 a game. Mark Hughes is chipping in 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Wright State is averaging 73.8 points per game on 44.1% shooting and is allowing opponents to score 67.5 points per game.
Take Wright State
This game is a pickem. I think that Wright St has more offensive weapons despite scoring less points and shooting a worse average than Northern Kentucky. Loudon Love is one of the best players in the conference and will have a tough matchup against Drew McDonald. I think the Raiders will shit down McDonald en route to a victory and a spot in the big dance. Take Wright St PK.
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