(Photo Courtesy of Nothern Kentucky Tribune)
Northern Kentucky men’s basketball continues to make waves in the Horizon League. The Norseman are still a relative newcomer to Division one college basketball, but each year they seem to get a little bit better. Can they become a contender for the Horizon League championship? That is yet to be seen, but don’t be surprised if the finish the year in the top half of the league. Two wins and a pair of stellar performances from Northern Kentucky men’s basketball player Drew McDonald earned the Cold Spring, Kentucky (Newport Central Catholic) native his first and the program’s second-ever Horizon League Player of the Week honor.
McDonald was sensational on the court in a pair of road wins at Morehead State and Norfolk State. He opened against Morehead State with a career-high 32 points on the strength of 12-of-14 shooting from the floor. It marked his fifth straight game scoring at least 20 points, and with 11 rebounds in the contest, it was the fourth double-double in the same five-game stretch.
The sophomore forward followed up with 18 points and seven rebounds in Northern Kentucky’s 72-61 victory over Norfolk State.
For the two games last week, McDonald combined to averaged 25 points and nine rebounds per game. He shot 79 percent (19-for-24) from the floor and 83 percent (5-of-6) from 3-point range.
McDonald leads the team and ranks fifth in the Horizon League in scoring at 20.5 ppg. He also averages a team-best 8.6 rebounds, which is second in the league.
Cole Murray was the first Norse to win the award, garnering the recognition after shooting 7-for-10 from 3-point territory en route to 25 points in NKU’s 91-83 win at Detroit on Jan. 29 of last season. Last year, McDonald was twice named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week, an honor that was collected by Carson Williams following the first weekend of action this season after Williams posted a team-best 15 points in the win over Earlham and a 10-point, 14-rebound double-double at Illinois.
NKU is off to a 5-3 start, its best since the 2011-12 season when the team opened its final campaign as a Division II program with 13-straight victories. The team is also 3-1 in true road games and 4-1 away from BB&T Arena. Northern Kentucky hosts Eastern Illinois on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.
McDonald shared the weekly award with Valparaiso’s Alec Peters.