Men’s basketball can’t complete comeback at EMU

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Zulfiqar Ahmed

Men’s basketball junior guard Kaleb Thornton looks on as Eastern Michigan freshman forward Colin Golson, Jr. makes an attempt at the net during a game in DeKalb on Jan. 15.

By DeOndre Saunders, Sports Reporter

Men’s basketball lost on the road against the Eastern Michigan University Eagles, 74-72, Tuesday in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

How it happened

Both teams had trouble handling the ball in the first half as they turned the ball over multiple times. NIU turned the ball over eight times compared to EMU’s 10 turnovers in the first half alone. 

Eagles freshman guard Noah Farrakhan put on a show in the first half, putting up 23 of the team’s 40 first-half points. Farrakhan’s scored from every part of the floor as he hit mid-range jumpers, three-point shots, free throws, and layups. 

In the first half, the Huskies shot 46.7% from the field and 30% from the three-point line. The Eagles shot 59.1% from the field and 50% from the three-point line. 

The Huskies went into the locker room down 40-34 at the half. Junior guard Kaleb Thornton led the Huskies in first-half scoring with eight points.

The Huskies battled defensively coming out of the half. NIU had six steals, which they converted into 13 points off turnovers. NIU also rallied in the paint, putting up 18 points in the second half alone. 

The Huskies clawed back from an 11-point deficit to take a one-point lead with just over a minute remaining in the game. NIU could not complete the comeback though, falling 74-72 in the final minute of regulation. 

Sophomore guard Keshawn Williams led the Huskies in scoring with 24 points. Eagles’ Farrakhan led all scorers with 31 points. 

Thoughts from Coach Burno

Burno’s thoughts on the late comeback:

“We fought, we clawed, and we figured out ways to score even with Trendon (Hankerson) being out,” Burno said.

Burno’s thoughts on the first 10 minutes of the first half:

“We gotta do a better job of moving the ball and stop turning the ball over,” Burno said. 

The end result

NIU is currently 8-18 overall with a record of 5-11 in the Mid-American Conference. EMU’s record overall is 10-18 with a record of 5-12 in the MAC. 

The Huskies head back home as they take on the University at Buffalo 7 p.m. CT Thursday. Tune into ESPN3 to watch the game.