Huskies head south for tournament play

By Carl Ackerman

With two wins under its belt, the NIU men’s basketball squad will travel south to battle two non-conference foes in a tournament the Huskies are expected to win.

NIU (2-1) will challenge Alcorn State (1-4) in the first round Friday at 9 p.m. in the Fourth Annual Southwest Texas State Coca-Cola Jowers Jamboree. If the Huskies win, they will play the winner of the Southwest Texas State/Southeastern Louisiana game Saturday at 9 p.m. The consolation game is Saturday at 3 p.m.

“We’re really excited to be in such a well-known tournament,” NIU head coach Jim Molinari said. “This two-day tournament atmosphere should really help us later in the season.”

Alcorn State features 6-8, 230 pound John Hall, who is averaging 15.8 points per game. Sophomore Reginald Ward checks in with a 13.2 ppg average and senior Steve Thomas is averaging 12.8 ppg.

“Alcorn State looks to be a really athletic team. Southeastern Louisiana has won two straight coming into the tournament and has done a great job of restarting its program,” Molinari said.

Tournament host Southwest Texas State temporarily lost its head coach Harry Larrabee, who suffered a mild stroke Nov. 30. Assistant coach Jim Rosebrock will serve as the acting coach for the team.

“This is always an important weekend for us,” Rosebrock said. “First, because it’s our tournament and secondly because its at the beginning of the year, and it sets the tone for what’s ahead for the next couple of weeks.”

The Huskies lead the Mid-Continent Conference in three team categories—scoring defense, field goal percentage defense, and free throw percentage.