NIU men’s basketball: Huskies host Western Michigan on Senior Night

By Steve Shonder

What’s happening

Men’s basketball (12-15, 6-10 MAC) will take on the Western Michigan Broncos (18-11, 9-7 MAC) 7 p.m. today at the Convocation Center in the Huskies’ final regular season home game. Prior to the game, the Huskies’ seniors will be recognized as a part of Senior Night.


Western Michigan is coming off two wins and has won four of its last five games. The Broncos have gotten some big contributions from freshmen Drake LaMont and Thomas Wilder. Both players have stepped up on the offensive end.

LaMont is coming off a 27-point game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles, and Wilder has made opposing teams pay when he gets to the free-throw line. Wilder has gone 27-27 from the line in the last three games. He went 16-16 from the charity stripe against Eastern Michigan.

The Huskies also boast a two-game win streak, having beaten the MAC’s top two teams, the Toledo Rockets and the Central Michigan Chippewas. Against Central Michigan, NIU has three players — sophomore Aaric Armstead, senior Aaron Armstead and redshirt senior Anthony Johnson — score in double-figures.

On the defensive end, the Huskies held the Chippewas, who are one of the best shooting teams in the country, to just 31 percent shooting and held the edge on the glass, outrebounding Central Michigan, 35-30.

In the last meeting between NIU and Western Michigan — Feb. 14 in Kalamazoo, Mich. — the Broncos came out on top, 69-65. The Huskies led in the first half, but the Broncos got to the free-throw line 22 times in the second half to overcome the deficit.

Players to watch

Aaron Armstead the reigning MAC-West player of the week, has been the offensive sparkplug off the bench for the Huskies. After scoring in double-figures in two-straight games, Armstead is in position to have another big game scoring the ball against the Broncos.

Even with the Broncos having more contributors step up, redshirt senior David Brown remains their No. 1 scoring threat. Keeping him from being a factor in the game would go a long way in helping the Huskies pick up their third win in a row.

The quote

“We try to win the week, so we finally won the week,” said head coach Mark Montgomery after the Saturday win over Central Michigan. “Let’s try to win this week and put ourselves in a pretty good position going into the tournament. … We’re playing good basketball at the right time.”