The Northern Kentucky Norse will look to pick up their seventh consecutive victory when they visit the Green Bay Phoenix on Friday evening in Horizon League play. Northern Kentucky has surged to 11-8 overall (9-5 Horizon) after beating the Milwaukee Panthers 79-65 as a 1.5-point road underdog last weekend. Green Bay topped the IUPUI Jaguars 79-72 last Saturday as a 5.5-point home favourite, and is now 6-14 (6-10 Horizon).
After completing a two-game sweep last season, Northern Kentucky leads the all-time series 7-4 dating back to the Norse joining Division I in 2015.
Norse keep on winning
After a disappointing start to the season for the two-time defending Horizon League Tournament champions, Northern Kentucky has won six straight including a pair of blowout victories at Milwaukee last weekend. The Norse used a 13-2 run at the 11-minute mark of the first half to erase an early deficit and clamped down defensively in the first 10 minutes after the break to build their advantage to double digits.Here’s how you can watch the game.
Trevon Faulkner led all scorers with 21 points, while Adrian Nelson piled up 17 points and 14 rebounds on 7/8 shooting from the floor. The big difference came on the boards, with the Norse outrebounding Milwaukee 36-18.
Northern Kentucky has also been hot against the spread, covering in five of its last six games to bring its season record to 9-8-1. Overs are 11-6-1 for the Norse, as their last six games have either gone over the betting total or pushed.
The Norse are averaging 71.1 points per game on shooting splits of 54.6 percent from two (one of the 50 best marks in college basketball) and 30 percent from three (one of the 50 worst). Opponents are putting up 70.5 points per game on Northern Kentucky while shooting 50.7 percent from two and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Faulkner is having an excellent season with 17 points and 1.7 steals per game to lead the North. Marques Warrick has piled up 15.1 points per game on 45.3 percent shooting from the field en route to being named Horizon League Freshman of the Week six times.
Northern Kentucky has no reported injuries or expected absences ahead of Friday’s game.
Green Bay earns a split with IUPUI
The Phoenix managed to snap a three-game losing streak last weekend with a victory over IUPUI after losing the series opener by nine points the night before. Green Bay took control early with an 18-2 run to build a massive 41-18 lead at halftime, as IUPUI never led after the 15-minute mark of the first half.PJ Pipes led Green Bay with 20 points fueled by a 15/16 performance from the free throw line while also dishing out four assists. Green Bay shot 35/38 on free throw attempts overall while holding IUPUI to 37.9 percent from the field.
“When we weren’t connecting on shots in the second half, it was a huge bonus to knock down free throws,” said head coach Will Ryan via The Press Times. “We were strong with the ball. I knew we shot lots, but I had no idea we shot 38. I’m proud of the guys for stepping up and knocking them down when it got tight.”
Green Bay has been much better against the spread than straight up at 11-8-1, although it had failed to cover in three straight games before taking down IUPUI. Overs are 13-7 for the Phoenix, and each of their last five games has gone over the betting total.
The Phoenix are putting up 71.3 points per game while shooting 48.3 percent shooting from two and 34.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Defense has been Green Bay’s major issue, as the Phoenix rank 315th in scoring at 77.6 points per game allowed on shooting splits of 53.7 percent from two and 36.4 percent from three, both 294th or worse nationally.
Amari Davis is one of the top players in the Horizon League with an average of 17.7 points and 1.6 steals per game. Pipes is putting up 14 points and a team-high 3.1 assists per game on 41 percent shooting from three, while Josh Jefferson is also at 14.2 points per game.
Green Bay also had a full roster last game and has no expected absences for Friday.