Huskies fall to Brocos Saturday


Meghan Connell, Northern Star File Photo- NIU’s Antone Christian pushes off Eastern Illinois’ L.C. Doss to make a play in a game earlier this season.

By Brian Thomas

Still looking for its first win of the season, NIU men’s basketball journeyed west to Idaho to take on Boise State Saturday. To the Huskies’ (0-5) dismay, they fell to the Broncos 71-57, dropping their fifth game in a row.

Boise State red shirt junior Kenny Buckner started the game off with four quick points to make its lead 6-2 with 15:39 left in the first half.

NIU would answer to take the lead on back-to-back three’s by junior Tony Nixon and freshman Zach Miller, 8-6, with 12:35 remaining in the half.

This would be the Huskies only lead of the game and it would be short-lived.

Broncos’ freshman Derrick Marks responded with a layup to tie the game 12 seconds later and with 8:38 left, and sophomore Thomas Bropleh hit a three-pointer to give the Broncos the lead for good, 11-8.

The Broncos went up on a 8-0 run, which gave them a lead 27-17 going into the half.

Boise State continued its run out of the break and went on a 10-3 run in the first 4:05 of play in the second half to make the score 37-20.

“At the start of the second half, they came out on fire,” said NIU men’s basketball coach Mark Montgomery. “We kind of settled down and after the first time-out we were still only down 11, so it was still a ball game. But you have to give them credit and give our guys credit for fighting back and not giving up.”

With the Broncos in control of the game, freshman Abdel Nader tried to bring the Huskies back in the second half.

After having taken just three shots and scoring two points in the first half, Nader came out much more aggressively in the second half, taking nine shots while scoring 14 points and hitting two three-pointers in the process.

Nader was the Huskies’ leading scorer with 16 points, while Nixon added 11 points.

“Abdel – he is definitely a shot maker,” Montgomery said. “He can make some tough shots and he can get the ball going. I told him right after the game, we have to have him come out in the first five minutes aggressive, looking to do some things.”

Despite not getting the win, Montgomery saw some good things that NIU can take away from the game.

“I thought we showed some poise,” Montgomery said. “We said we wanted to control the tempo of the game. [Boise State had] been averaging over 90 something points at home, and we held them to 27 points in the first half, so the tempo of the game was where we wanted it at.”