Huskies can’t find Midas touch against KSU


Last night at Kent State University the NIU men’s basketball team fell into a hole they couldn’t get out of.

Falling behind early and poor shooting put the Huskies (1-1) on the losing end of a 80-57 score, at the hands of Kent State (1-0).

The Golden Flash came out gunning from the tip-off, grabbing a 10-0 lead by the 5:00 mark as the Huskies went ice cold failing to hit a basket until the 8:00 mark.

“Before we knew it, we looked up and the game had gotten away from us,” said head coach Brian Hammel.

The Huskies found their groove midway through the first half and finally started putting points on the board consistently.

The Huskies fought their way back into the game with tenacious defense. With 1:25 left in the first half Chad Weeks hit a three-pointer to bring the Golden Flashs’ lead down to three at 31-28.

No sooner than the Huskies had gotten back into the game Nate Reinking of Kent State came down the court and hit a three to send the Huskies into the locker room down 37-31.

Kent State used the three-point shot to absolute perfection against the Huskies last night. State dialed long distance 10 times throughout the game shooting a scorching 62 percent from long range.

The Huskies opened the second half flat, just as they did in the first, and wound up in a position that no team wants to find themselves in on the road.

Kent State went on a 26-11 run to open the second half which put the Huskies down 60-39 at the 12:00 mark.

Mike Lipnisky was the lone Huskie starter to score a point in the second half.

Lipnisky hit for nine in the second half, finishing as the leading scorer for the Huskies with 21 and was also the lone Huskie in double figures. Mike Hartke was next with six.

For the game the Huskies shot a dismal 34 percent hitting only 20 of 58 from the field.

“We really struggled offensively, we didn’t shoot the ball well,” said Hammel. “It was a physical game and that threw both teams out of rhythm.”

Unlike the Huskies first game, in which they had a problem with turnovers, they only gave the ball up 14 times while forcing Kent to give the ball up 16 times.

The achilles heal for the Huskies last night was a lack of rebounding. Kent enjoyed a 47-35 margin over the Huskies on the boards.

“We really got killed on the boards,” said Hammel.

Kent State had four players reach double figures in last night’s game.

Leading scorers for KSU were Nate Reinking with 23, Rod Koch with 13, Durand Watkins with 10 and last year’s AT&T Long Distance award winner Jeff Anderson with 14.

The Huskies will try and learn from this experience and get things back on track when they take on Akron in the doghouse Dec. 18.

“We need to work on being ready when the whistle is blown, particularly on the boards. I think that was the tail of the tape tonight,” Hammel said.