Northern Kentucky Norse (16-7) at Cleveland State Vikings (6-18)
|Date & Time||Saturday February 3, 2018, 3:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Cleveland State Vikings +13.5 -- Over/Under: 141
The Northern Kentucky Norse will travel to Wolstein Center to take on the Cleveland State Vikings this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The Northern Kentucky Norse won their 2nd straight game and improved to 16-7 (9-2 Horizon) on the season after defeating the Youngstown State Penguins, 95-85, this past Thursday. Northern Kentucky trailed by a 43-40 margin at halftime and however, was able to pull away in the 2nd half after a 11-1 run gave the Norse a 74-62 lead with 10:17 left in regulation. Northern Kentucky shot 59.6% from the field and 52.6% (10-19) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Norse was Drew McDonald who had a double-double with 26 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. On the season, Northern Kentucky is averaging 80.0 ppg on 48.6% shooting from the field. The Norse are averaging 8.3 three-pointers per game on 34.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Northern Kentucky has been led by Drew McDonald (17.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.0 apg), Carson Williams (13.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg), Lavone Holland II (13.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.1 spg), and Jordan Garnett (7.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg). Defensively, Northern Kentucky is holding their opponents to an average of 65.9 ppg on 41.5% shooting from the field. The Norse have a rebound margin of 2.6 and a turnover margin of 3.4.
The Cleveland State Vikings snapped their 3-game losing streak and improved to 6-18 (3-8 Horizon) on the season after upsetting the Wright State Raiders, 77-74, this past Thursday. Cleveland State was outstanding from beyond the arc throughout the game and held on late after holding a 54-39 lead with 14:45 left in regulation. Cleveland State shot 49.0% from the field and 43.85 (14-32) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Vikings was Kenny Carpenter who had 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. On the season, Cleveland State is averaging 67.4 ppg on 42.8% shooting from the field. The Vikings are averaging 8.2 three-pointers per game on 32.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Cleveland State has been led by Kenny Carpenter (12.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.0 spg), Tyree Appleby (10.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.5 spg), Bobby Word (10.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg), and Anthony Wright (7.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.6 apg). Defensively, Cleveland State is allowing their opponents to average 74.6 ppg on 46.2% shooting from the field. The Vikings have a rebound margin of -7.9 and a turnover margin of 1.3.
The Norse are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games and 33-16-2 ATS in their last 51 games overall. The Vikings are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games.
Northern Kentucky has won 5 of their last 6 games and the Norse look like they have a good opportunity to win the conference and return to the NCAA Tournament as they come into this matchup ranked 51st in scoring offense and 39th in scoring defense. Cleveland State have won just 3 of their last 10 games and rank just 308th in scoring offense and 243rd in scoring defense, however, the Vikings should have plenty of confidence after defeating the Horizon League leading Raiders in their recent victory. Northern Kentucky is the better team however, the Norse have won by just an average of 11.0 ppg in their conference road victories this season and as the Vikings have won three games in conference play at home this season, I think the Vikings can do enough in this one to cover with the points.