Huskies lose second straight

By Krystal Ward

DeKalb | Men’s basketball (16-5, 5-3 MAC) lost its second straight game Saturday on a cold shooting night, falling to MAC-rival Miami University, Ohio (7-14, 1-7 MAC).

Miami shot 50 percent from the field more than halfway through the first half, including four triples, to take a 20-13 lead. Freshman guard Marshawn Wilson scored 12 points on four three-pointers to pull the Huskies within three with 3:44 left to play in the first half. Wilson led all scorers at the break with 14 points.

NIU went into halftime trailing by just one, 35-34. The team shot just 27.6 percent (8-29) in the second half and 34 percent (17-50) for the game. Miami shot 46 percent (23-50) for the game.

Miami led 48-41 with 15:27 left in the second half and dropped three consecutive three-pointers to widen its lead to 11 points with less than seven minutes left.

Wilson and junior guard Aaric Armstead answered back with back-to-back threes to pull the Huskies within six, 61-55, with 6:14 left to play, but Miami held on to the lead and handed the Huskies their fifth loss of the season.

Wilson led all scorers and tied a career-high with 24 points. Armstead contributed 19 points and sophomore center Marin Maric grabbed seven rebounds. Senior guard Travon Baker recorded three steals to set a new NIU career record with 166 career steals.

The Huskies dished out 11 assists but also turned the ball over 11 times. Miami scored 14 points off of those turnovers. NIU shot just 34.5 percent (10-29) on three-pointers, while Miami shot 47.6 percent (10-21) from behind the arc. Miami edged NIU 12-8 in points in the paint. Miami blocked seven shots in the contest to the Huskies’ two, and neither team was able to muster any fast break points.

“We were very disappointed with the start of the game,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery, according to an NIU Athletics news release. “When a team hasn’t been playing well like Miami, it gives them confidence. They came out punching and we couldn’t stop them. It seemed like when we made a three, and it looked like we were going to make a run, they made a three, and they made a lot of them at the end of the shot clock.

“When you go on the road in the MAC it is a dogfight, throw the records out. They were hungrier than us and I am disappointed in myself and in our team because our effort wasn’t where it should be.”