Men’s basketball continues hot start to season with win over Roosevelt

By Krystal Ward

Men’s basketball (9-2, 0-0 MAC) defeated Roosevelt (6-9) in a 33-point blowout on Tuesday.

The Huskies shot lights out to start the game.  Sophomore center and MAC West Player of the Week Marin Maric scored nine points in the first five minutes of the game. Maric recorded 10 points with just under eight minutes to play in the first and led all scorers with 12 points at the half.

NIU led 17-14 early on in the game, shooting 7-11 from the field. The Huskies closed the first half on a 26-5 run and shot 57.6 percent (19-33) for the period. They led at the break 47-29.

NIU picked up right where it left off to start the second half. Maric, senior Travon Baker and senior Chuks Iroegbu were all in double figures with 12 minutes remaining in the game.

Maric set a career high with 22 points and grabbed five rebounds in 21 minutes. Baker scored 14 points and dished out seven assists without committing a turnover. Iroegbu shot 4-4 from the field, scoring 11 points.

Freshman guard Laytwan Porter set a career high with 12 points and went 3-4 from behind the arc. Sophomore center Andrew Zelis also set a career high with 12 points and seven rebounds in 12 minutes.

The Huskies defense stagnated Roosevelt’s offense, limiting them to 38.1 percent shooting (16-42) for the game. NIU scored 27 points off of 21 Roosevelt turnovers. 

The home team’s bench also came up big again, contributing 43 points. NIU shot 51.6 percent (33-64) for the game and dished out 21 assists. The Huskies had 14 fast break points and 14 second chance points.

Guards Kevin Priebe and Korey Ryan led Roosevelt in scoring with 11 points apiece.

“I thought the first five minutes we came out with a great mindset and our starters got us going,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery, according to a NIU Athletics news release. “Our second wave didn’t kick into gear and Roosevelt took the lead, but that is when we got going. You have to credit Roosevelt, they made shots, they have a very good coach and they made it a ballgame early.

“Once we got multiple stops, we got out running, Marin Maric started scoring around the basket and we made some open shots we got going. Credit Roosevelt, they took the lead and we had to wake up, maybe our guys were already thinking about Christmas.”

The Huskies will be back in action as they take on UIC at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Chicago.