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Northern Kentucky 79 Illinois-Chicago 62


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CHICAGO – A pivotal first-half run from the Northern Kentucky men's basketball team helped the Norse cruise to a 79-62 victory over UIC on Friday night at UIC Pavilion to give NKU a Division-I era record 14 single-season wins with nine regular-season games remaining.


With the victory, the Norse sit at 14-8 on the year and 5-4 in the Horizon League. The Flames dipped to 11-10 overall and 4-4 in the Horizon League.


STAT LEADERS •Mason Faulkner led five Norse in double-figures with 19 total points to go with six rebounds including five on the defensive end. The freshman went 7-for-12 from the field and 5-for-7 from the charity stripe.

•Lavone Holland II followed with 16 total points and matched Faulkner with six rebounds.

•Cole Murray chipped in 12 points on four triples, while Drew McDonald and Dantez Walton posted 10 points apiece.

•Walton's 10 points came in his first 10 minutes of play in the first period. He came within one of his career-high in both points and rebounds after pulling down five boards.

•Jordan Garnett pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and had a pair of assists with three points.


TURNING POINT •After UIC led for the first 15 minutes of the game, NKU used the perimeter to chip away at the deficit, sinking six triples in a four-minute span.

•A triple from McDonald at the 5:52 mark gave the Norse their first lead of the game, which grew to a 39-27 advantage with 2:21 left in the first half. NKU rode a 12-2 run that featured six points from Walton to take control of the game.

•The Norse defense held UIC to 33.3 percent shooting (10-for-30) from the field in the second-half to keep the Flames at a distance and lead by as many as 23.


FIRST HALF SUMMARY •UIC opened hot from the floor and went on a 6-for-6 field goal streak to lead 14-4 after the first five minutes of play.

•The Norse countered with a 13-2 run over a six-minute span span in which they forced five turnovers and held UIC to 1-for-8 shooting.

•The run included six-straight points from Faulkner as Holland capped it off with a triple that tied the game at 18-18 with 7:55 left in the half.

•NKU then went on to sink six triples in four minutes, which helped build its 39-27 lead at the 2:21 mark. Murray and Walton each had a pair of triples in the stretch.

•UIC ended the half on 1-for-10 shooting from the field to help the Norse maintain the advantage throughout the end of the period.

•NKU posted six steals and forced 13 UIC turnovers in the first half as the Norse led 39-30 at the intermission.


SECOND HALF SUMMARY •NKU carried its momentum into the second half, building a 14-point lead just 1:10 into the half at 44-30.

•At the 14:54 mark, UIC came back within single digits after scoring five-straight.

•NKU would again fight off the Flames with Faulkner contributing four points to a 7-0 run that put NKU ahead by 17 at 55-38, with 12:08 to play.

•NKU's lead grew to as many as 23 as it led by at least 14 throughout the remainder of the game.


GAME NOTES •The Norse forced a season-high 23 turnovers with the help of a season-high 11 steals distributed among six different players. Their 23 turnovers were converted into 26 points while UIC managed 15 points off turnovers.

•Northern Kentucky also edged UIC in second-chance points, 20-7, despite just narrowly leading in offensive rebounds, 14-12. NKU won the rebounding battle overall, 45-42.

•The Norse improved to 10-1 on the season when holding opponents to 70 points or less.

•Faulkner has 57 points and 15 rebounds in the last three games.

•NKU has had at least one freshman post double-figures in each of the last 12 games and 16 of NKU's 22 total games this season.

•NKU improved to 2-1 all-time against UIC after taking on the Flames for the first time this season.


UP NEXT •The Norse turn around to take on Horizon League foe Valparaiso on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. The Crusaders sit atop the League standings at 7-1 and are 17-4 overall.

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