Huskies fall on road to Ball State


Sophomore Noah McCarty battles in the post in the Huskies’ 80-72 home loss Feb. 13 against Central Michigan. NIU fell to 5-10 in Mid-American Conference play Tuesday.

By Julian Nunnery

DeKALB — The men’s basketball team was defeated Tuesday by Ball State University and continues to round out the bottom of the Mid-American Conference West Divison standings.

“We got behind the eight-ball,” said Head Coach Mark Montgomery. “They made shots early in both halves, and we missed shots. We also had some early turnovers. Those missed shots and turnovers costed us. You just can’t have that.”

The Huskies fell 77-68 on the road to Ball State (19-9, 10-5 Mid American Conference), which is competing for the No. 1 seed in the conference.

It was another slow start for the Huskies, as the Cardinals jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead in the first few minutes. NIU quickly battled its way back and traded leads with Ball State for the majority of the first half.

The Huskies (12-16, 5-10 Mid American Conference) trailed 37-32 at the break, positioning themselves for another come-from-behind victory similar to their win over the Broncos in their last time on the court.

Ball State did not make the same mistake as Western Michigan and came out even more aggressive in the second half.

The Cardinals pushed their lead up to 23 points, 73-50 with seven minutes left to play. The Huskies made another push but ran out of time in their 10th conference game of the season.

“I liked that we didn’t give up,” Montgomery said. “We kept playing. We’re going to compete until the final buzzer, and that’s what our guys did.”

Sophomore guard Eugene German had another strong scoring night coming off of his career-high 31 point performance against Western Michigan. German led the Huskies with 25 points and added a rebound, an assist and a steal.

Junior forward Anastasios Demogerontas had a productive night off the bench, scoring 13 points and snagging four rebounds on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.

“It was good to see Demogerontas perform well,” Montgomery said. “He had his best game with 13 points, four rebounds and no turnovers. It was a huge game for Demogerontas. Hopefully he can keep that going.”

Junior forward Levi Bradley rounded out the double-digit scoring for the Huskies with 10 points to go along with grabbing five rebounds.

NIU’s most efficient player was sophomore guard Justin Thomas, who scored seven points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from the field. Thomas also finished second on the team in rebounds with seven.

After missing three games with a shoulder injury, junior guard Dante Thorpe returned to action for the Huskies. Thorpe did not put up his usual numbers at 11.5 points a game but still added five points, two rebounds, a steal and a block.

The Huskies will pick it back up against Eastern Michigan University 11 a.m. Saturday in Ypsilanti, Michigan.