Youngstown State at Northern Kentucky
|Date & Time||Thursday February 21, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
Highland Heights, KY
Northern Kentucky Norse -13.5 -- Over/Under: 148.5
The Youngstown State Penguins will travel to BB&T Arena to take on the Northern Kentucky Norse this Thursday night in College Basketball action.
The Youngstown State Penguins won their 6th straight game and improved to 12-16 (8-7 Horizon) on the season after defeating the UIC Flames, 81-73, this past Saturday. Youngstown State was solid on the offensive end throughout the game and was able to hang onto the victory late after a 11-0 Penguins run gave Youngstown State a 71-65 lead with 3:34 left in regulation. Youngstown State shot 44.6% from the field and 47.4% from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Penguins was Darius Quisenberry who had 37 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
On the season, Youngstown State is averaging 76.0 ppg on 42.4% shooting from the field. The Penguins are averaging 9.7 three-pointers per game on 34.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Youngstown State has been led by Darius Quisenberry (13.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.4 spg), Garrett Covington (10.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.2 spg), Devin Morgan (9.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.6 apg), and Jelani Simmons (8.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg).
Defensively, Youngstown State is allowing their opponents to average 78.3 ppg on 46.1% shooting from the field. The Penguins have a rebound margin of 3.4 and a turnover margin of -0.9.
The Northern Kentucky Norse dropped to 20-7 (10-4 Horizon) on the season after being defeated by the Wright State Raiders, 81-77, this past Friday. Northern Kentucky held a 49-44 lead at halftime, however, the Norse struggled offensively in the 2nd half and allowed Wright State to seal the victory after a Billy Wampler FT for the Raiders gave Wright State a 79-75 lead with just :20 seconds left in regulation. Northern Kentucky allowed Wright State to shoot 54.7% from the field and 47.4% from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Norse was Drew McDonald who had 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists.
On the season, Northern Kentucky is averaging 79.5 ppg on 48.3% shooting from the field. The Norse are averaging 9.1 three-pointers per game on 36.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Northern Kentucky has been led by Drew McDonald (19.2 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.7 apg), Tyler Sharpe (14.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.4 spg), Jalen Tate (13.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.0 spg), Dantez Walton (11.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.0 spg).
Defensively, Northern Kentucky is allowing their opponents to average 67.9 ppg on 41.3% shooting from the field. The Norse have a rebound margin of 4.5 and a turnover margin of 1.1.
The Penguins are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Norse are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
Youngstown State has won 7 of their last 10 games and although their offense has been solid, ranking 99th in scoring offense, the Penguins have struggled defensively as they come into this match-up ranked just 324th in scoring defense & 296th in defensive FG%.
Northern Kentucky has won 8 of their last 11 games and have been solid on both ends of the court this season as the Norse rank 41st in scoring offense, 23rd in FG%, and 82nd in scoring defense.
I don’t think anyone in the Horizon though we would be seeing Youngstown State on a 6-game conference winning streak this season, however, the Penguins have found success with an explosive offense and a defense that has played much better as of late. With all that being said, this game will be a true test if Youngstown State is really a threat in the Horizon as Northern Kentucky, despite losing 3 of their last 5 games, still has to be considered the team to beat in the Horizon this season. Northern Kentucky has struggled a bit as of late, however, all those loses were on the road, and between the fact that Northern Kentucky is a perfect 15-0 at home this season and has been conference opponents at home by an average of 15.4 ppg this season, I’m going with the Norse to cover this large home spread. Good Luck!