Jan. 13, 2007
NIU MEN'S BASKETBALL POSTGAME QUOTES
Central Michigan (67), Northern Illinois (64)
January 13, 2007 - DeKalb, Illinois
Central Michigan Head Coach Ernie Ziegler
"We had a hard-fought game. Coach Judson and his team is battling through injuries and they didn't have some key players today. For us to persevere through the run they made down the stretch after we came back from an eight-point deficit gave us a big conference intra-division win on the road.
"I challenged our guys at halftime to get on the defensive boards. Our ability to get on the defensive boards put us in position to hold them to one shot in the second half and that allowed us to come back.
"It was good to see Marko [Spika] get comfortable and make a big contribution because he's capable of playing like he did tonight. He's a skilled player.
"Without question this is the biggest contribution we've gotten from our bench this year and when you have guys in foul trouble that's what you need."
Northern Illinois Head Coach Rob Judson
"We have played three games in the Mid-American Conference and every one came down to the last possession. There is great parity in our division. Eastern Michigan beat Ball State in Muncie today and we play at Ball State on Tuesday.
"Today, Giordan Watson and Marko Spica gave Central enough possessions to win the game. We tried to take Watson out of the game with the things we were doing on defense, we played some box. When we were able to do that, Spika stepped up and kept them in the game.
"At the end, we tried to get Zach [Pancratz] a three because he was the only one to make a three for us in the game, but their defense kept him a little too far out.
"Anytime in college basketball when you can get someone to come off the bench, it's an advantage. His 18 points were a big lift for them.
"James [Hughes] had some good looks today. He had 10 shots which led our team. Their zone limited his touches in the second half and that's where we need to hit an outside shot or two. James in the last two games has been much more active and seems to have come out of the little dip he had been in.
"I challenged our guys in the locker room after the game to come up with one possession. One possession - offensively or defensively - that will make a difference in a game.
"Our energy was good to start the first four minutes of the second half. They made a good run when we changed our defense to try to stop Watson."