Feb. 7, 2007
Box Score |
DeKalb, Ill. - Northern Illinois senior center James Hughes (Silvis, Ill.) scored 14 points off the bench to lead four Huskies in double-figures, as NIU snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 73-51 Mid-American Conference victory over Bowling Green at the NIU Convocation Center on Wednesday night.
Junior forward Zach Pancratz (Schaumburg, Ill.) followed Hughes with 13 points, including three treys. Junior point guard Ryan Paradise (Naperville, Ill.) and junior forward Shaun Logan (Eldridge, Iowa) had 11 and 10 points respectively.
With the victory, NIU improves to 5-17 overall and 2-8 in MAC action, while the Falcons drop to 11-12 on the season and 2-8 in conference play.
The Huskies used a 15-2 run in the second half and held the Falcons scoreless for over seven minutes and to 26.1% (6-for-23) shooting in the final stanza to help propel them to victory. Freshman Cody Yelder (Calumet Park, Ill.), in his second game since returning from knee surgery, led the charge with five points. Yelder finished with nine points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of action.
NIU was especially stingy on the defensive end against the leading scorer in the MAC, in Bowling Green guard Martin Samarco. Samarco, who was averaging 20.1 points-per-game, was held to eight points on the evening on 2-for-10 shooting.
As a team, the Huskies forced a team-season, high 21 turnovers and scored 25 points off the Bowling Green miscues.
"This game was determined by our defensive effort in the second half," NIU head coach Rob Judson said. "Bowling Green runs a very good motion offense and to hold them to 26 percent shooting in the second half is very impressive."
Senior guard Mike McKinney (Evanston, Ill.) reached a milestone in the second half, as the Evanston, Ill., native posted his 1,000th career-point in a Huskie uniform. McKinney finished the game with seven points and four rebounds.
NIU is back in action on Saturday afternoon, as they travel to Athens, Ohio to square off with the Ohio Bobcats for a 2 p.m. (CST) tip-off.