Horizon League Tournament Recap: Cleveland St. 89, Northern Kentucky 80

Northern Kentucky’s Horizon League Tournament came to a sudden and surprising end with an 89-80 loss to Cleveland St. Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena. The Norse (22-9) entered the game as a 1-seed and had beaten the 8-seed Vikings (11-22) 70-55 and 78-61 in their two previous contests this season. It marks the third straight year that the 1-seed has failed to win a game in the Horizon League Tourney.

Northern Kentucky raced out to a 21-6 lead and held a 33-28 halftime edge. The second half featured multiple ties and lead changes, but it was a 10-point run that started at the 2:46 mark that allowed the Vikings to extend to an 84-75 lead in the span of just under two minutes and hold on for the win. Drew McDonald recorded his 17th double-double of the season with a game-high 24 points and 13 rebounds. Tyree Appleby led the way for Cleveland St. with 24 points.

NKU received an automatic bid to the NIT by virtue of winning the Horizon League Regular Season Championship. and will now wait for that bracket to be announced March 11th.

Official Box Score

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Game links:
@NKUNorsMBB falters in 89-80 decision to Cleveland State in #MotorCityMadness  (NKUNorse.com)
Horizon League run ends abruptly in quarterfinals for NKU  (The Northerner)
No. 1 NKU upset 89-80 by No. 8 Cleveland State on Saturday night at Motor City Madness  (Cincinnati Enquirer)