Feb. 2, 2008
Final Stats | Quotes
OHIO 73, NIU 55
DeKalb, Ill. - A strong showing by Ohio in the first half, keyed by seven three-pointers, proved to be the difference in the ball game, as the Bobcats closed the half on a 31-10 run on their way to the 73-55 Mid-American Conference victory over the Northern Illinois men's basketball team at the NIU Convocation Center.
Ohio senior forward Leon Williams led all scorers with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Bobcat junior forward Jerome Tillman posted 17 points, while teammate Bubba Walther drained three treys and finished with 15 points and six assists.
With the victory, Ohio improves to 15-6 overall and 6-2 in MAC play, while the Huskies fall to 5-15 on the season and 2-6 in conference action.
NIU junior forward Sean Smith (Gary, Ind./Westside/Vincennes J.C.) led NIU with 19 points, while freshman guard Darion Anderson (Chicago, Ill./Carver Military Academy) added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Ohio shot a blistering 53.6% (15-for-28) from the floor in the first half and 46.7% (7-for-15) from three-point range. NIU responded with a 32.0% (8-for-25) performance from the field and 20.0% (2-for-10) from long distance in the opening 20 minutes.
"The last couple of games we have gotten a great feel for what the best teams in our league are like," Northern Illinois head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton said. "In the second half, we came out and played man to man defense and we played them even at that point, but that's not good enough.
"Sometimes when you start the game in zone [defense], young players don't realize that a zone still needs to be aggressive," Patton continued. "Our zone was good early, but then they came out and hit some threes.
The Huskies were also done in by mistakes, as Ohio forced 17 turnovers and scored 23 points off of the NIU miscues.
Northern Illinois returns to action on Tuesday, February 5, as the Huskies welcome the Buffalo Bulls to the NIU Convocation Center for a 7 p.m. (CST) tip-off.