NIU prepares for its Tuesday matchup against MAC-leading Akron

By Jemea Green

DeKALB — The men’s basketball team will host the University of Akron Zips 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Convocation Center. 

The Huskies are coming off of a 71-68 victory over the University of Eastern Michigan Eagles on Saturday. The team sits at 9-7 overall and 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference. Senior guard Eugene German led the way for NIU, scoring 17 points. German is continuing to climb the all-time leading scorers list for NIU, sitting 100 points behind former Huskie T.J. Lux with 1,896 career points. 

Senior forward Noah McCarty also had double digits in scoring, tying a career-high 14 points. 

The Zips will bring a 13-3 overall record into Tuesday’s matchup. They currently lead the MAC with a 13-3 record overall. Akron and Kent State University are the only teams remaining undefeated in MAC play. 

The Zips are coming off of a home win Friday over the Ball State University Cardinals. Akron was led by senior forward Xeyrius Williams who scored 23 points, redshirt junior guard Loren Cristian Jackson with 19 and senior guard Tyler Cheese with 17. 

The Huskies and Zips split their season series last season with NIU winning 73-56 on Jan. 12, 2019, in DeKalb and Akron winning 67-65 on Jan. 26, 2019 in Akron. In the last matchup between the two teams, a late NIU rally wasn’t enough to put the Huskies on top. With just over four minutes of play, NIU was down nine points. 

As the Huskies were down by three with 3.2 seconds left on the clock, German was fouled. He shot two free throws and missed the second one intentionally. NIU was able to rebound the ball and try for a tip-in, but the shot did not fall. German scored a game-high 23 points in the contest.

The Huskies next matchup will be 3 p.m. Saturday against the Bowling Green State University Falcons in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Tuesday’s game will be available on ESPN+.