Men’s basketball to host University of Green Bay Phoenix Saturday

By Jemea Green

DeKALB – The men’s basketball team will host the University of Green Bay Phoenix 1 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center.

NIU brings a 7-5 record into the game after defeating Chicago State University 75-60 Thursday night. There were three players who scored double digits against Chicago State, including senior guard Eugene German with 22 points, first-year guard Tyler Cochran with a career-high 14 points and redshirt senior forward Lacey James with 12 points.

Sophomore Trendon Hankerson added nine points and will face his older brother, senior guard Kameron Hankerson, who plays for the Phoenix, at Saturday’s game.

The University of Green Bay brings a 4-8 record into the game after scoring a program-high 126 points Wednesday against Concordia University Chicago.

The Phoenix only had eight players dress for the game due to injury and illness. All eight players scored double digits. They were led by Kameron with 21 points, and redshirt senior guard Cody Schwartz and junior forward Manny Patterson added 20 points each. Green Bay is currently averaging 82.4 points per game.

The teams last met Nov. 28, 2018, when NIU was topped 83-85. The Huskies fell short of a comeback after closing the last six minutes of play with a 22-9 run, after being down 16.

The game was back-and-forth until the Phoenix used a 20-3 run to take the 76-61 advantage. German scored a career-high 33 points while former NIU seniors forward Levi Bradley and guard Dante Thorpe scored 13 points each. They graduated in 2019.

The matchup will close out non-conference play, and NIU will return to Mid-American Conference play after the New Year.