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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Coit leads men’s basketball to fifth-straight win

Alyssa Queen
Then-sophomore guard David Coit stares down his defender in a home game against Western Michigan University on Feb. 11. Coit scored a career-high 34 points to lead NIU men’s basketball to an 89-79 victory over DePaul University. (Alyssa Queen | Northern Star)

A career-night from junior guard David Coit pushed NIU men’s basketball (5-1) to an 89-79 victory over the DePaul University Blue Demons (1-5) Saturday. 

Coit scored a career-high 34 points on 58% shooting and knocked down a career-best 8 three-pointers as the Huskies notched their fifth consecutive win.

“This is personal for Phil (senior guard Philmon Gebrewhit) obviously because he went to DePaul,” Coit said. “We got kids from Chicago they (DePaul) didn’t recruit, and Phil went to DePaul, it’s personal. The first four minutes showed we took this personal.”

Coit wasted no time making his presence felt, knocking down his first 4 three-point attempts and scoring 12 straight points for the Huskies in the first six minutes of the game.

“After the first shot, I went up to (senior guard) Keshawn Williams, obviously one of my best friends, him and Riq (junior guard Zarique Nutter) being my best friends,” Coit said. “I went up to Ke and I’m like ‘They about to have a long night.’”

Nutter added 19 points on 50% shooting and 7 rebounds. NIU men’s basketball head coach Rashon Burno praised Nutter’s ability to stay poised in all situations. 

“He’s one of those cool hand lukes,” Burno said. “Never gets too high, never gets too low, you almost have to check his pulse. He’s really, really a cool cat. He’s a (New) Jersey guy, so nothing’s gonna rattle him. He’s seen it all, so I’m happy for him.”


Despite the Huskies never trailing and leading by as many as 24 points, the Blue Demons made things interesting in the second half.

The Huskies used a 19-0 run that started at the end of the first half and spilled into the start of the second half to help balloon their lead to 24.

“It (the 19-0 run) was huge,” Coit said. “We’ve been struggling with the first four minutes, we’ve been on and off with it. Especially the first four minutes of the second half. So having those runs gave us the confidence to be like ‘nah, we belong.’”

DePaul refused to go away, mounting a 28-12 run of its own to cut the deficit to 8 points with under eight minutes to play. 

Burno said that his team’s toughness helped them stabilize the runs from the Blue Demons. 

“Toughness and fortitude,” Burno said. “Minus the nine minutes at Marquette, you subtract those to present time, we’ve been playing a good style of ball. We’re a resilient group, we’re still young in some areas, we gotta get better in certain spots, but I think these guys trust each other. When you trust each other you can withstand anything that’s coming at you.”


While Coit and Nutter led the way statistically for the Huskies, it took everyone for the Huskies to earn the win. Sophomore forward Xavier Amos grabbed 8 rebounds and blocked one shot, while sophomore forward Yanic Konan Niederhauser pulled down 7 rebounds and rejected 4 shots.

“The biggest key for us was the rebounding,” Nutter said. “I want to shout out my bigs. Duro (junior forward Oluwasegun Durosinmi), X (Amos), Yanic (Konan Niederhauser), they all stepped up. Harv (senior forward Harvin Ibarguen) went out with the injury and them three bigs stepped up big time for us. That was amazing for the team down the stretch.”

Facing off against his alma mater, Burno made sure the game was about the team first. 

“It’s about the team,” Burno said. “I said it to the guys after the game ‘it wasn’t about me.’ We never talked about winning for me. I was just happy for these guys.”

Coit said that the belief and togetherness of everyone on the team and the coaching staff means everything to him.

“Coming from where I come from, my story is crazy itself,” Coit said. “So having 18 to 20 dudes that just believe in me, men and women, trainers included, that just believe in what I can do, that feels the best.”


The Huskies will look for their sixth straight win as they face Northwestern University at 7 p.m. Monday in Evanston. The game will be streamed on Big Ten Plus.

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