Men’s Basketball picks up second conference victory

James Krause

The men’s basketball team picked up its second straight conference win, beating the Miami of Ohio RedHawks Tuesday with a final score of 83-70 in Oxford, Ohio.

After going winless in Mid-American Conference road games last season, the Huskies have racked up two wins to start the year 2-0 in conference play.

Head Coach Mark Montgomery said the success is thanks to the team embracing the “Road Dawgs” mentality. The team adopted this mindset after starting the season with a few hard fought road victories.

“We kind of set the tone when we went to Oakland and won two out of three [games],” Montgomery said. “It’s a good sign. It’s a sign the team is listening and growing and finding ways to make winning plays.”

Senior guard Dante Thorpe led the Huskies with 24 points, matching his career-high; junior guard Eugene German finished with 23 points.

Senior forward Levi Bradley struggled early against Ohio, but bounced back to lead the Huskies in scoring  with 14 points in the first half, including the first six points for NIU. Failing to score in the second half, Bradley ended with 14 points and six rebounds.

Related: Huskies win MAC opener

Senior forward Lacey James and Bradley made back-to-back 3-pointers just over ten minutes into the first half to give the Huskies a 20-17 lead. NIU held the lead for the remainder of the game.

Montgomery said establishing themselves early helped the Huskies in the long run.

“I think they established themselves in the post early,” Montgomery said. “Bradley got us going early with a few post shots and a [3-point shot]. We just made open shots and ran our offense.”

The Huskies showed early, and often, their biggest weapon was the 3-point shot, going 7-12 in the first half from beyond the arc to give NIU a 43-35 halftime lead.

While NIU used the 3-pointer to create seperation from the RedHawks, Miami was ice cold from distance in the second half, going 2-16 from three and only 12-26 from the field.

Thorpe helped the Huskies put the RedHawks away with a 17-point second half on 7-10 shooting from the field and a pair of free throws.

Related: Q & A with Coach Montgomery

German put NIU over the top with a perfect 4-4 shooting from the field and going 6-9 from the free throw line in the second half.

Miami sophomore guard Nike Sibande led the RedHawks with 16 points, but couldn’t prevent the Huskies from winning 83-70.

The Huskies will return to DeKalb with a 9-6 overall and a perfect 2-0 record in MAC play. The Huskies will host the Akron Zips in their conference home opener at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center.