BASKETBALL FINAL SCORE: NORTHERN ILLINOIS 98, NBC THUNDER 66 (EXHIBITION)
DeKALB, IL---With Friday's season opener just 72 hours away, Northern
Illinois University head coach Rob Judson wanted his team to see
improvement from last week's exhibition to Tuesday (November 12) contest.
The Huskies progress was very evident as they ran away with a 98-66 victory
over the NBC Thunder in exhibition play.
different Northern Illinois players scored in double figures, led by junior
Marcus Smallwood (Elgin) has he topped all scorers with 23 points
on 10-of-16 shooting. The 6-foot-6 forward posted his second double-double
of the exhibition schedule as he notched a game-high 13 rebounds with
eight of his boards coming on the offensive glass.
took some steps forward from our last game," Judson said. "We
wanted to attack offensively and I like the way we shot. The only thing
we need to do is work on our free throws."
baker's dozen on the boards was part of a Huskie rebounding effort that
held a 53-33 advantage over the Thunder. All 12 Northern Illinois players
recorded at least one rebound, with five different Huskies grabbing four
or more boards. Joining Smallwood in double figures on the glass was forward
Jamel Staten (Minneapolis, MN / North) as he nabbed 11 boards while
scoring 13 points to post his second double-double.
reason for the rebound discrepancy was the shooting percentage at each
end of the court. The Huskies shot 51.3 percent (40-of-78) from the floor,
compared to 19-for-60 (31.7 percent) for the visitors. Unfortunately for
Northern Illinois that accuracy didn't carry over to the free throw line.
NIU shot better from the floor than it did the charity stripe as it could
only convert 50 percent (8-for-16) at the line. NBC made as many free
throws (16-of-26) as the Huskies took.
the last exhibition game we worked on our transition defense and it paid
off," Judson added. "Our transition defense was much improved
tonight. The Thunder shot just 31 percent from the field. We attacked
the boards and it gave us a big rebounding edge."
the second-straight contest the Huskies were dominate in the lane as they
scored 60 points in the paint, compared to just ten for the Thunder. Northern
Illinois starting backcourt of Smallwood, Staten and Rome Sanders
(Chicago / Curie) combined for 44 points. The Huskies' offense allowed
the perimeter players to drive to the basket as guards P.J. Smith
(Maywood / Proviso East) and Eugene "Jay" Bates (Chicago
/ Robeson) were able to get to the hole.
reached double-digits with 12 points while adding a team-high four steals
as Northern Illinois scored 26 points off 17 Thunder turnovers. Second
on the squad with 15 points was guard Al Sewasciuk (Summit / Argo)
with all of his points coming courtesy of the three-pointer. Freshman
Todd Peterson (Pekin) canned a trio of three-pointers as part of
his 12 points. Smith rounded out the Huskies in double digits with ten
a double-double for the Thunder was former NBA standout for the Cleveland
Cavaliers, Craig Ehlo as he scored 11 points and grabbed ten rebounds.
Leading NBC in the scoring column was former Washington State University
Cougar Tamir Hasan with 18 points as one of four Thunder players to reach
was fun to play versus somebody who played against Michael Jordan,"
Illinois was in control of the game from the onset, jumping out to a quick
6-0 advantage before extending the lead to double-digits (23-13) on a
three-pointer by Peterson. NBC would get the deficit under ten points
twice the rest of the game on a three-pointer by Jackie Johnson (31-23)
and one from Brain Foland (37-29).
Huskies went into the locker room with a 15-point lead (47-32) and extended
that margin to 20 points within the first two minutes of the second half.
NIU's advantage grew to as many as 34 points (88-54) on a Staten lay-up.
up for the Huskies is the season opener against Winthrop at 6 p.m. (CST)
in the first game of the NABC Classic in Madison, WI. NIU will then play
either Wisconsin or Eastern Washington on Saturday at either 6 or 8 p.m.
by Michael Smoose