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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Coit-less Huskies fall to South Alabama in MAC-SBC Challenge

Sean Reed
Sophomore forward Xavier Amos passes the ball during an NIU men’s basketball home game against Eastern Michigan University on Feb. 3. Amos led the Huskies in scoring with 19 points Saturday against the University of South Alabama. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

NIU men’s basketball was defeated 75-66 by the University of South Alabama in the Huskies’ second and final matchup of the MAC-SBC Challenge.

A 23-point performance from Chicago native and senior guard Tyrell Jones propelled the Jaguars to their 12th win of the 2023-2024 regular season.


The Huskies were missing two of their five typical starters Saturday, one of which is NIU’s top scorer. Junior guard David Coit, who averages 19.2 points per game, and senior guard Philmon Gebrewhit were both absent from the lineup.

According to the ESPN+ broadcast of the game, Coit suffered a hamstring injury before Saturday’s contest and did not travel with the team. Gebrewhit missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury.

Gebrewhit is currently averaging 9.2 points per game in 18 games played.


Four Huskies finished in double digits Saturday. Sophomore forward Xavier Amos led NIU’s scoring charge with 16 points and 5 rebounds. 

Junior guard Zarique Nutter added 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Nutter and Amos, NIU’s top scorers behind Coit, were responsible for 32 of the Huskies’ 54 total shot attempts.

Sophomore forward Yanic Konan Niederhauser scored 12 points and anchored NIU’s defense with a game-high 5 blocked shots.


The Jaguars led the game for a total of 36 minutes and 45 seconds, shutting down any NIU momentum throughout the contest.

After leading by just 5 at the half, South Alabama used two 7-0 runs in the closing frame to put the Huskies away. The Jaguars’ largest lead hit 14 points with 2:35 left remaining.

NIU got within 3 points of South Alabama following a three-pointer from freshman guard Will Lovings-Watts with 10:10 remaining, but could not accumulate stops down the stretch.

Jones’ 23 points and sophomore forward Julian Margrave’s 12 points from South Alabama proved to be too much for the Huskies’ defense.


NIU will return to conference play when they face the University at Buffalo next at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Convocation Center. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and live stats will be provided via SIDEARM Stats.

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