NIU fails to sweep regular season series against Akron

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Charlie Neibergall | Associated Press

Northern Illinois junior forward Zool Kueth, left, fights for a rebound with Iowa junior guard Joe Wieskamp, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Kyle Mathas

DeKALB — The men’s basketball team dropped another close game to the University of Akron Zips Tuesday in Akron, Ohio.

NIU fell to Akron, 81-76, after the game was within seven points for the final two minutes. Although the game was close, the Huskies, who have struggled to close out games this year, once again struggled to close out this one. The Huskies defeated the Zips Jan. 12 at home, but could not do it this time on the road. 

The Huskies were led by junior forward Zool Kueth with 21 points on 8-11 shooting and 5-8 3-point shooting. Just a point behind him was sophomore guard Tyler Cochran with 20 points, seven assists and 13 rebounds. The Huskies also had junior forward Chinedu Okanu with 10 points, and junior guard Trendon Hankerson with seven points. 

The Zips were led by junior guard Bryan Trimble, Jr. with 22 points, and senior guard Loren Cristian Jackson with 19 points and seven assists.

With the win, the Zips increase their overall record to 13-4 with a 11-3 record in the Mid-American Conference, which holds them as the second best team in the MAC this season.  

For the Huskies, this loss is their second straight since coming out of the postponement of their season. This puts their record at 2-12 on the season and 1-8 in MAC play, with their only win being against Akron. 

For the Huskies, their next game will be against the University of Miami–Ohio 5 p.m. Saturday. The game will be at the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb, where the Huskies will look for a much-needed win. The game will be available on ESPN3.