Huskies march out of Macomb with victory over Western Illinois


Redshirt senior forward Lacey James attempts a shot Wednesday while James Claar, WIU redshirt senior forward, pressures the Huskie at Western Hall.

By Mike Knapp

DeKALB — After winning three-straight home games over the weekend, the men’s basketball team headed back on the road Wednesday to take on Western Illinois University at Western Hall for the first time since 1994.

After starting the season with two losses, the Huskies ran their winning streak to four games, dispatching the Leathernecks in an 86-81 victory.

Senior guard Eugene German, playing in his 100th career game in a Huskies uniform, led the way with a season-high 26 points. German shot a season-high 64% from the field, hitting 11 of his 17 shots, including 4-for-7 from behind the 3-point arc while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists.

Both teams shot the ball well in the fast-paced contest, with NIU hitting 50%, 32-for-64, for the game. The Huskies, now 4-2 on the season, went 8-for-12 from 3-point shots in the first half and ran out to a 41-36 lead.

The Huskies led the entire second half and led by as many as 10 points at 59-49 on a layup by sophomore guard Darius Beane with 13:02 left in the game. The Leathernecks refused to go away and were as close as four points on a dunk by redshirt senior forward James Claar, with 88 seconds left and 82-78 on the board.

Sophomore guard Trendon Hankerson and junior forward Nathan Scott joined German in double figures with 13 points, while Scott also had six rebounds. Senior forward Noah McCarty, playing in his 99th career game in a Huskie uniform, made his first career start and contributed nine points while leading the team with seven rebounds.

WIU sophomore guard Kobe Webster scored 26 points to tie German for game-high scoring honors.

The Huskies will return to the road when they travel to Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. Tipoff will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Vadalabene Center.