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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Akron spoils Coit’s career performance

Junior guard David Coit (11) shoots the ball for a mid-range shot during the second half of an NIU men’s basketball game against Ball State University on Feb. 20. Coit scored a career-high 35 points and entered the 1000 points-scored club on Saturday. (Ryanne Sandifer | Northern Star)

A 35-point performance from junior guard David Coit wasn’t enough for an NIU men’s basketball (10-19, 4-12 MAC) win Saturday as the Huskies were defeated 80-73 by the University of Akron (21-8, 13-3 MAC).

Coit not only scored a career-high in Saturday’s loss, but he also tallied his 1000th career point. Coit is the 33rd player to score 1000 points in a Huskie uniform and is just the fourth player in NIU history to achieve the milestone in under two seasons.

“A lot of feelings come with that just because I’ve been through so much to get to this point,” Coit said. “I just gotta thank my coaching staff, teammates, my friends and family, you know what I’m saying? They keep me going every day. Definitely a lot of emotions, came far, still going. It’s a surreal feeling.”

Kenny Battle, Jim Bradley and Xavier Silas are the only other Huskies to eclipse the 1000 career-point mark in two seasons.


Coit didn’t waste time getting into the scoring column, finishing with 16 points in the first half on 5-for-13 shooting.

The 5-foot-11 inch guard was tied with 6-foot-9-inch senior forward Harvin Ibarguen for a team-high 7 rebounds on Saturday. Coit also added 3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block on Saturday.

“7 rebounds for a 5-foot, 8, 9, 10-inch guard is pretty impressive,” said NIU men’s basketball head coach Rashon Burno.

After trailing Akron by 8 with 10:16 remaining in the second half, Coit knocked down two straight threes to bring the Huskies within 2 points. This would be the closest NIU would get to Akron’s lead in the final 10 minutes of the second half.

Coit’s 19 second half points paced the Huskies in the closing frame.


Despite trailing 37-34 at halftime, Akron erased the three-point deficit and used multiple scoring runs in the second half to take a 13-point lead with 5:02 remaining.

Senior forward Enrique Freeman scored 13 points in the final frame to lead the Zips. Freeman finished the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Akron senior guard Ali Ali scored 17 points Saturday and, like Coit, also entered the 1000 career-points club.

Akron outrebounded NIU 41-31, including 14 offensive rebounds to the Huskies’ 8. The Zips also outscored NIU in second chance points 22 to 6.

Ten Akron players recorded a point Saturday, while just sixfive Huskies found the scoring column in the seven-point loss.


NIU was once again without two of their top scoring options in junior guard Zarique Nutter and sophomore forward Xavier Amos. Nutter is the Huskies’ second-best scorer with 15.4 points per game and Amos is NIU’s third-highest scorer with 13.8 points per game.

Senior guard Philmon Gebrewhit, who has only played in 19 out of 29 games this season, was also out. Gebrewhit averages 8.7 points per game.

NIU was missing a total of seven players its typical roster and only lost by just as many points.

“We’re short handed, but these guys competed with two of the best teams in the league and it showed,” Burno said. “We got toughness, we got grit. So, this was a good challenge, but unfortunately we came up short.”

Starting in Amos and Nutter’s absence, freshman guard Will Lovings-Watts and sophomore forward Ethan Butler combined for 25 points in the loss.


After Western Michigan University’s last-second win over Ball State University Saturday, the Huskies have been eliminated from MAC Tournament contention with two games remaining in the regular season.

Butler believes the Huskies have more to play for despite the tumultuous season.

“Honestly, (we want) to go out and compete every single game and just show people that NIU is a contender,” Butler said. “NIU is a great program. We’re not gonna let down. Like obviously, our goals for the tournament aren’t where we want them to be, but we’re not just gonna lay down. We’re gonna prove that we should have been in there (the MAC tournament).”


The Huskies will play their final home game next against Central Michigan University at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Convocation Center. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and live stats will be available via SIDEARM Stats.

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