March 12, 2008
#6 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 83, #11 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 71
2008 MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND
QUICKEN LOANS ARENA * CLEVELAND, OHIO
NORTHERN ILLINOIS HEAD COACH Ricardo Patton
"I am extremely proud of our young men the way we battled today. We ran into an extremely hot basketball team and we weren't able to return fire. I told the team that our record is not a good indication of the winners we have in this program. We have laid the foundation for this team and we're looking forward to the future.
"We had some miscommunication on defense and at times they made some tough shots. They hit some contested shots. You can't totally fault our defense on that. Good players are going to make plays and hit shots.
"Experience is the best teacher. The only way to learn how to do it is to be involved in it. If you watch the games on TV at this time of year, you can see that players have elevated their level of intensity and taken the game up another notch at this time of year."
NIU GUARD DARION ANDERSON
"Today, Central Michigan was the better team. They hit open shots, they executed very well. We had some mental lapses on defense [that allowed them to get open threes]. Coming into the game, I was thinking about our seniors and that it could possibly be their last game. I know I have to work on my defense. I observed [CMU guard] Watson today. He is an excellent guard in this conference. I took the challenge of guarding him. He has a high basketball IQ with the ball and without the ball i his hands. He gets his teammates in the right position to make plays and hit shots."