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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

No. 5 Marquette cruises past men’s basketball

Northern Star File Photo
Then-sophomore guard David Coit dribbles the ball on March 9 at the MAC Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. Coit had 14 points in the Huskies’ season-opening loss to Marquette. (Northern Star File Photo)

DeKALB – A dominant first half performance propelled the Marquette University Golden Eagles (1-0) to a 92-70 win over NIU men’s basketball (0-1) in Monday’s season opener.

The No. 5 ranked Golden Eagles gave the Huskies all they could handle early on, causing six NIU turnovers in the first six minutes of the game, helping them build a 50-28 halftime lead.

“Nerves played a huge part in the first half,” said NIU men’s basketball head coach Rashon Burno. “I think we got ahead of ourselves with just being too anxious. I don’t think we did a good enough job executing on both ends of the floor.”

Marquette junior guard Kam Jones led the way for the Golden Eagles, scoring 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Reigning Big East Player of the Year senior guard Tyler Kolek chipped in 14 points and 4 assists for Marquette. 

After missing NIU’s exhibition match Wednesday due to a concussion, junior guard David Coit returned to the lineup, leading the Huskies in scoring with 14 points. Despite this, Coit struggled from the field, shooting just 3-for-13 and 2-for-10 from three-point range.

“My backcourt was 11 for 41 or 42,” Burno said. “Going on the road against a top-10 team, those numbers have to be better in order for you to win. I think we’re at about 67% (shooting) minus those three (backcourt starters).”


Senior guard Philmon Gebrewhit played his first game as a Huskie Monday after transferring from DePaul University. 

“The guys have been working since June 26, so to finally get to play with other guys, it was fun,” Gebrewhit said. “We didn’t get the win that we were supposed to get, but I know it’s going to be a long season. So, it’s a good building block for us.”

Gebrewhit scored 11 points and knocked down three of his 5 three-point attempts, the most by any Huskie. 

“My three ball was working a little bit today, but I felt like if I had made a couple more layups, it would have been a different outcome,” Gebrewhit said. “Just need to get better.” 

After spending most of his freshman season coming off the bench, sophomore forward Yanic Konan Niederhauser got the start in Monday’s season opener. Niederhauser scored 9 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked 2 shots. 

Sophomore forward Xavier Amos, who missed most of the 2022-23 season due to injury, also got the start and filled the stat sheet, scoring 8 points, grabbing 4 rebounds, dishing out 3 assists and notching 2 steals.

“Those guys (NIU frontcourt players) are gonna be really, really active,” Burno said. “We have to go get rebounds, and it paid off in the second half, which was why the game was more manageable. We got it (Marquette’s lead) to 14 because we kept pressure on the backboard. That’s going to be a catalyst for us moving forward, we’re gonna have bad shooting nights.”

The Huskies played a much better brand of basketball in the second half, tying Marquette on the scoreboard over the final twenty minutes. NIU also shot a better percentage from the field, made more threes and made more free-throws in the second half. 

“These guys won’t quit,” Burno said. “We got fortitude, we got all the toughness, all the clichés, and we’ve got them in abundance. We didn’t play well, they took us out of some stuff, and we still didn’t play well. We’ll get back after it on Wednesday and get ready for App (Appalachian) State.”


The Huskies’ next game will be their home opener against Appalachian State University at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center. The game will be streamed on ESPN+, and live stats will be available via SideArm Stats.

“We got fight, we’re not going to lay down for anybody,” Gebrewhit said. “This is the No. 5 team in the country. So, I feel like if we keep putting this together, we should be unstoppable.”

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