Northern Kentucky downs UMBC 78-60 behind McDonald

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (AP) — Drew McDonald scored 21 points with three 3-pointers, Dantez Walton added a career-high 19 points with four assists, and Northern Kentucky pulled away with a 30-2 first-half run to beat UMBC 78-60 on Friday night.

Tyler Sharpe scored 14 points with three 3s and Zaynah Robinson had 10 points with six assists for the Norse (8-1), who shot 55 percent to UMBC’s 34 percent.

Joe Sherburne’s jumper capped UMBC’s opening 19-9 run, but the Retrievers went cold for 4:24 and the Norse pulled ahead 27-21 with a 22-5 run capped by Walton’s layup. Sharpe and McDonald hit consecutive 3s and Northern Kentucky led 39-21 at halftime after outscoring UMBC 30-2 over the final 8:36.

Walton and Robinson combined for 12 points in a 12-2 run, McDonald’s 3 put the Norse up 61-34 with 13:15 to play and Northern Kentucky was never threatened.

Brandon Horvath scored 19 points, making 12 of 17 free throws, and Sherburne added 18 points for UMBC (4-4).

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