Three point shooting can be the difference between a lopsided win and an upset victory, and Carthage used the trey to defeat NIU 74-70 in overtime Friday night.
The exhibition was supposed to be a game for the Huskies to flex their muscles against the out of conference D-III Red Men.
At first, it seemed like NIU would do just that, as it took a 32-19 lead at halftime.
In the first half, both teams shot poorly from beyond the arc, as the Huskies went three for 12 in their three point attempts, and Carthage shot an ice cold 14 percent from three, making only two of 14 shots.
Freshman forward Abdel Nader said the cold long distance shooting was uncharacteristic of the Huskies.
"There's not really an excuse for our poor shooting," Nader said. "We can all shoot pretty well from beyond the arc, but didn't shoot that well today. When that happens, we have to do a better job of getting the ball to the basket."
In the second half though, Carthage found its stroke and shot 69 percent from three, sinking nine of its 13 attempts. Junior guard Malcom Kelly, who led the Red Men in scoring last season, scored all of his points in the second half, which were all three pointers.
NIU forward Tim Toler said Carthage was hard to stop once they found confidence in three point shooting.
"They [found] that confidence, and when a team gets that confidence, there is really no stopping them unless you get out there and get hands up in their faces," Toler said. "We did a lazy job of coming of getting through screens and communicating, so that's something we really have to improve on."
Carthage senior guard Max Cary and freshman forward Luke Johnson got hot, as they combined for seven three pointers, five of which came in the second half alone.
NIU tried to keep up with Carthage from downtown, but shot only 14 percent from three point range in the second half, making only one of seven attempts. The Huskies shot a collective 19 percent for the game, making only four total three point attempts.
NIU head coach Mark Montgomery said Carthage's contagious shooting led to the defeat.
"They spaced us out," Montgomery said. "I mean, their shooters made shots. Luke Johnson got them going, and when it gets contagious, they feel they can play with you, and we just couldn't gain it back. We didn't have a really good offensive rhythm in the second half, and we kind of forced it."