Broncos buck Huskies


Erik Anderson | Northern Star

By Brian Belford

Amid a pink-shirted theme for breast cancer awareness, NIU men’s basketball only made fans aware that it once again lost, this time a 78-53 defeat courtesy of Western Michigan.

Western Michigan (11-15, 5-7 MAC) was consistent in its rout of the Huskies and seemed to have an answer for everything NIU threw at it.

“You have to credit Western Michigan; they made plays and they kept making plays, they shot 60 percent from three, and they didn’t settle for just being up,” said NIU coach Mark Montgomery.

With the game going back-and forth-early, Western Michigan broke the game open, knocking down back-to-back three- pointers to go up 25-14 with six minutes to go in the half. The Broncos made five treys in the first half, while NIU’s Stain Berg, Aksel Bolin and Abdel Nader went a combined 1-11 in the opening period. The Broncos had a 34-24 halftime lead. Leading by 10, Western Michigan continued to pass out of double teams and find open shooters, and the Broncos went on a 15-3 run to take a 63-41 lead.

“When we shoot the ball like that, which we don’t always do, then you half to pick your poison,” said Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins. “When they start double teaming and the ball gets kicked out, and we have guys stepping up and hitting threes, then it becomes very difficult to stop us.”

NIU’s Tyler Storm, who finished with nine points, said the Huskies have to keep the faith.

“It’s always tough when your down at halftime and you come out losing,” Storm said. “But we put a lot of faith in our coach and our teammates, and I think we can bounce back.”