Christian’s spark off the bench not enough to help Huskies win

By Brian Thomas

In need of a second scoring option, Antone Christian answered the bell for NIU men’s basketball against Ohio Wednesday.

Christian came in off the bench and scored a season-high 15 points against the Bobcats, 10 of which came in the first half.

The Huskies needed a performance like this from Christian as point guard Zach Miller is out with an injury, possibly for the rest of the season.

Christian was a key for the Huskies’ bench, as it outscored the Bobcats bench, 31-27.

“It’s huge,” said NIU coach Mark Montgomery. “We had some guys in foul trouble, but I told him when we had a talk this week, ‘If he has an open shot after we got a couple sides, be aggressive.’ He is a good catch and shoot shooter, and he has a tendency that he can get to the basket.”

What made Christian so effective versus Ohio was that he came out assertive and aggressive, immediately hitting a three pointer after he checked into the game for the Huskies.

At about the eight minute mark in the game, Christian was feeling it and made a jumper for two points. On NIU’s following possession, Christian hit a three-pointer to give the team a 20-18 lead.

“Once Antone got it going, our guys looked for him,” Montgomery said. “He continued to be very aggressive to score, which was good, but he did it within the offense.”

The last couple of games, Christian has not been taking very many shots. However, in this game, he was much more involved, going 6-12 from the field and 3-7 from three point range.

“Coach was telling us to get a rhythm and a flow in the offense,” Christian said. “And when the opportunity presented itself, my teammates got me the ball, and I decided to go ahead and take advantage to help the team.”