Cold-Shooting Plagues Northern Illinois in 58-45 Loss to CMU

GO HUSKIES Mike DiNunno scored a game-high 25 points as NIU fell the Central Michigan, Saturday.
Mike DiNunno scored a game-high 25 points as NIU fell the Central Michigan, Saturday.

Jan. 24, 2009

Box Score

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DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's basketball team (6-11, 2-3 MAC) set season-lows in points (45) field goals (16), field goal percentage (.348), free throw percentage (.304), rebounds (26) and blocks (1), and freshman guard Mike DiNunno (25 points) was the lone Huskie in double figures, as Central Michigan (5-12, 2-3) cruised to a 58-45 win over NIU at the Convocation Center Saturday afternoon.

The Huskies' 16 field goals was their lowest single-game mark since converting 16 shots from the field against visiting Ohio on Jan. 17, 2006, and the NIU's 45 points was the lowest output since the 2007-08 opener at Northern Iowa (Nov. 9, 2007). DiNunno's 25 points led all scorers, while CMU was paced by Marcus Van's 14 points and 20 rebounds.

Jeremy Allen and Jacolby Hardiman each chipped in 10 points for the Chippewas. NIU's Darion "Jake" Anderson and Sean Kowal scored just a combined five points in the setback.

Both teams got off to slow offensive starts, but the Huskies grabbed their largest lead of four points (9-5) with 13:56 remaining in the opening stanza. CMU answered with an 8-0 spurt, and took a 13-9 lead at the 8:40 mark. The Chippewas extended their advantage to a first-half high six points (24-18) with 3:24 left in the frame, but Kowal scored three-straight points to end the half, and pull NIU within three (24-21) heading into the locker room at the intermission.

CMU scored the first four points of the second-half, forcing NIU head coach Ricardo Patton into an early timeout (18:34) less than 90 seconds into the frame. The Chippewas built their first double-digit advantage, 40-28, with 11:47 remaining, after Adrian Hunter converted a three-pointer.

CMU's largest advantage of 21 points (53-32) arrived with 4:16 remaining, after a Van converted two-straight free throws. NIU trimmed the advantage to 56-43 with 1:19 left, but could draw no closer.

Northern Illinois will open its six-game MAC-East swing Wednesday (Jan. 28) when the Huskies travel to Oxford, Ohio, to take on host Miami (Ohio). Tip-off from Millett Hall is set for 6 p.m. CST.



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