Huskies’ rematch against the Golden Flashes will be featured at primetime


Senior Eugene German (right) drives along the baseline Feb. 1 during NIU’s 70-55 win over the Miami University-Ohio RedHawks at the Convocation Center.

By Mike Knapp

DeKALB — With a five-game winning streak and its best start in Mid-American Conference play in 17 years, the men’s basketball team heads home for a primetime, nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network against the Kent State Golden Flashes 6 p.m. Friday at the Convocation Center.

The Huskies sit at 14-9 overall and 7-3 in MAC play. NIU has the most wins in the MAC West and is looking to match the start of the 2002-03 squad, which went 10-3 to open league play.

The Huskies return home Friday after beating the University of Toledo Rockets 66-61 in Ohio Tuesday night behind 25 points from senior guard Eugene German, who leads the MAC in scoring at 19.8 points per game.

German, who became NIU’s all-time leading scorer on Saturday, now sits at 2,025 points and has moved into ninth place on the MAC all-time scoring list. He has led the Huskies in points in all 23 games this season.

Making his sixth consecutive start after coming off the bench all season, sophomore guard Darius Beane added 11 points Tuesday, and has scored in double figures in four of his last five games. Redshirt senior forward Lacey James grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and is averaging more than eight boards per game over the course of the Huskies’ winning streak.

This will be a rematch between the two teams, as the Huskies traveled to Kent State Jan. 21 and came away with a 76-69 win to become the first team to beat the Golden Flashes on their home floor this season.

In that game, the Huskies put three players in double figures, with German leading the way with 17 points. James and Beane scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.

The Golden Flashes come into the game with a 16-7 overall record and are 6-4 in MAC play after dropping a 62-54 decision to Ball State University Tuesday night. Kent State has been fabulous at home, winning 10 of its 12 games, but are just 5-4 on the road.

The Flashes have four players in the Top 25 in scoring in the MAC, with junior forward Danny Pippen pacing the offense at 14 points per game. Senior guard Antonio Williams checks in at 13.8 points a game, senior guard Troy Simons averages 13 per game and sophomore guard Anthony Roberts checks in at 12.1 per contest.

After Friday’s game, the Huskies head back on the road for games at Ball State University and Miami University–Ohio. NIU’s next home game will be Feb. 22 when the Huskies host the Central Michigan University Chippewas in a game that will feature the top two teams in the MAC West.