After a hard fought first half plagued by fouls and turnovers, the Huskies (7-8, 3-0 MAC) finally found their groove in the second half. Northern Illinois put together a 14-5 run to start the second half to push the lead to 50-39 and never looked back. Solid free throw shooting down the strectch for the Huskies proved to be the difference as Eastern Michigan (9-7, 1-2 MAC) struggled from 3 point range (4-20 for the game) trying to climb back in the game.
Player of the Game: Jake Anderson 22 points (8-14 FG, 6-6 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists. This one was a tough one to choose, as Silas also had a nice ball game. In the end I had to give it to Jake Anderson. Anderson shook off a rough first half where he sat out most of the time because of foul trouble, by coming out in the second half scoring 8 of the Huskies first 14 points to put the lead into double digits. Anderson also led the team in rebounds.
Huskies won because: Xavier Silas and Jake Anderson. The 1-2 combo for the Huskies combined for 47 points and were 14-14 FT in the second half to help seal the victory.
Stepping up: Ante Dzepina played a solid game filling in for Sean Kowal and Michael Fakuade while both big men struggled to stay on the court early in the game because of foul trobule. The Croatian Sensation played a season high 18 minutes, finishing the game with 4 PTS, 6 REB, and 2 BLKS.
Stat line of the game: Northern Illinois 24-29 FT (82.8%). NIU shot above 80% from the charity stripe for the first time this season. The bulk of that shooting came from Silas and Anderson who combined for 16-17.
1st Place in the West: With Central Michigan's loss to Western Michigan, the Huskies assume sole possession of the 1st place in the MAC West Division.
Next up for the Huskies: NIU will travel to Toledo (3-13) to face the young Rockets squad on Wednesday @ 6PM.