The final redemption this season for NIU basketball?

Huskies outlast Toledo in overtime 75-70

It's hard to give this Northern Illinois any benefit of the doubt at this point in time. This game might as well have been played in outer space. There was virtually no media coverage and why would there be for a battle between the worst and second worst teams in a conference that ranks 18th in the country. Xavier Silas' ankle injury was apparently pretty serious as he wasn't able to suit up against the dastardly Rockets.

There's only so many chances before this season ends to have positive moments. I'm not going to blame the players. They don't deserve what is happening to them right now. It seems like the coaches just haven't done a very good job preparing them throughout the offseasons and in games. There's only a few more games left until the Huskies face their inevitable exit in the first round of the MAC tourney (they haven't won one since re-entering the MAC in 1997).

On to the game

As you can see, it was pretty much a back and forth affair. Even after X wasn't cleared to play Huskies were still favored by a point and the game pretty much played down the way it was predicted.  Looking at that chart, this game was pretty nuts. NIU would take the lead early and then towards the middle of the second half, Toledo would just go on some crazy runs, but the Huskies never got out of reach of the lead.

It wasn't the cleanest game of the season by any stretch. 46.8% offensive efficiency is below NIU's season average which already ranks low. The Huskies turned the ball over 14 times, which was significant given that this was one of the slowest-paced games of the season.

The Huskies grabbed 17 offensive boards, which was BY FAR the biggest production on that part of the game all season long. Antone Christian had 5 and Toler had 3. The main reason why this game was so close was the fact the Rockets got to the FT line 31 times and hit 24 (77%) of their attempts.

Credit goes to the Tim Toler (19 pts) and his success he had beyond the arc (4-7). Jeremy Landers and DeMarcus Grady also pitched in with double digit scoring themselves (14 & 11).

Congrats to the Huskies on this victory. It was a challenge and they stepped it up to win despite not having the best player in their lineup. Up next is a fairly winnable game against Eastern Michigan at home on Wednesday.


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