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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Men’s basketball wins nail-biter over Georgia State

Coit and Nutter lead Huskies’ offensive attack
Joey Trella
Senior forward Harvin Ibarguen shoots a free throw in a home game against the Illinois Institute of Technology. The Huskies defeated Georgia State University on Friday by a final score of 70-64. (Joey Trella | Northern Star)

DeKALB A back and forth contest saw NIU men’s basketball (3-1) pull away late for a 70-64 win over the Georgia State University Panthers (1-2) Friday.

Friday’s game featured 13 lead changes and 8 ties. Junior guard David Coit’s 17 second-half points powered the Huskies to their third consecutive win. 

“It (the win) feels so good because I went into half down on myself, and the guys were telling me ‘we believe in you, we go as you go, you got to stay locked in,’” Coit said. “Being able to do what I did in the second half, means a lot. I hate my shooting percentage because I work so hard on my game, but I understand that every shot I took is a makeable shot for me. My teammates believe in me so much.”

Coit logged 39 minutes, finishing the game with 20 points, pulling down 5 rebounds and dishing 5 assists.

Junior guard Zarique Nutter jump started the Huskies’ offense early, scoring 13 of NIU’s first 19 points. Nutter revealed post game that he had recently lost a loved one. 

“It was very pleasing to myself, I worked on my game., I stayed in the gym, and I also prayed to God,” Nutter said. “My grandmother who just recently passed, I pray that she’s with me. I asked her to watch over me today, and I feel like she did, so I give all the credit to her.”

Nutter finished the game tying an NIU career- high with 22 points on an efficient 75% shooting. Despite Nutter’s big scoring outing, he was limited to just 26 minutes as he and other Huskies were plagued with foul trouble throughout the second half. 

“Honestly, I got to talk to the refs,” Nutter said with a laugh. “In situations like that, your mental gotta be stronger than anything. You can’t let things like that get to you. Never get too high, never get too low, just always stay poised. That’s what I did, and that’s what I tried to get all the guys to do.”

Coit said that the team stayed together, and everyone stepped up to help the Huskies overcome their foul trouble.

“Different games, different guys step up, that’s the biggest thing about staying together because you never know who it’s gonna be,” Coit said. “Rique (Zarique Nutter) had a crazy game, but losing him to foul trouble, (freshman guard) Will Lovings-Watts had to step up and guard their best player. He was stiff, he didn’t play major minutes, so he had to come in and play major minutes. Same thing with (junior guard) Zion Russell.”

In addition to Nutter, senior forward Harvin Ibarguen and sophomore forward Yanic Konan Niederhauser all battled foul trouble, and the Huskies overcame 18 offensive rebounds and 18 second chance points from the Panthers. 

“We just stayed together,” Coit said. “We’ve been through a lot throughout this whole preseason, through the summer, we’ve been through a lot as a team and in our individual lives. One thing we do is hold each other down and we’re together. My teammates man, I’m just proud of them.”

NIU made up for its lack of rebounding and second chance points on the fast break. The Huskies blocked 12 shots, allowing themselves to get out in transition and score 17 fast break points. Sophomore forward Xavier Amos swatted away 5 Panther shots to lead the Huskies. 

“Getting in transition opens up any game,” Nutter said. “You get some easy points on the board, you get a little flow. Now the team’s amped up, everybody’s amped up, and I think that’s what he did today. We turned all their mistakes into points.”


The Huskies are back in action at 1 p.m. Saturday against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. It will be NIU’s second and final game of the Capitol Challenge in Atlanta, Georgia. Live stats will be available via StatBroadcast

“We reaching for the stars,” Coit said. “(Associate head) Coach (Shane) Southwell just told me this thing that I always go by. You reach for the highest, you’re gonna get all the low goals in between.”

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