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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Freshman Daveon Balls dribbles the ball in the game against Eastern Illinois University in February.

Basketball switches up style in coming season

By Brian Earle | October 30, 2013

Men’s basketball will have a different look to it this season based on changes to its roster and style of play.The Huskies lost their leading scorer from the last two seasons, Abdel Nader, who transferred to Iowa State. For the Huskies, it’s not about...

Erik Anderson | Northern Star

Men’s basketball falls to Ball State

By Brian Earle | February 14, 2013

A 20-point second half effort by Abdel Nader wasn't enough for NIU to stem the tide against Ball State.

The Huskies lost 75-65 to the Cardinals, which is their second-straight loss against a MAC rival.

The Huskies (2-15, 1-4 MAC) played the MAC West division leading Cardinals (12-5, 4-1 MAC) very close in the early going.

The first half was a back-and-forth battle that saw several tie scores and NIU actually held the lead 26-21 with five minutes left to play in the half. Ball State went on a 16-2 run, which included a buzzer beating three pointer by point guard Randy Davis to put it up 37-28 at halftime.

"The run was big because the game was obviously back and forth," said Ball State coach Billy Taylor.

That momentum carried over into the second half for Ball State. The Cardinals, who shot 54 percent from the field in the game, went on a 15-7 run to increase their lead to 50-35.

NIU kept fighting, though, and pulled within five points after Nader scored a layup to make the score 50-45 with eight minutes left to play.

Nader would catch fire, scoring 13-straight points for the Huskies, including three triples and finished the game with a career-high 26 points.

"He's a big guard. He's tall, he's got a strong body, he can get the ball where he wants to, he can shoot threes, he can pull up. So he's really a difficult cover," Taylor said.

Nader said he felt like he was in the zone, and that he's become more comfortable playing at the collegiate level.

"For me, it's whatever I can do to help my team win," Nader said. "I think it took a couple games because it's a tough transition, but I'm definitely getting more comfortable on the floor."

Even after NIU guard Tony Nixon's put-back dunk cut the Cardinals lead to 65-58 with two minutes left to play, Ball State kept rolling, matching the Huskies shot for shot down the stretch.

Ball State forward Jarrod Jones led his team with 17 points and eight rebounds. He had a lot of help from his teammates, as forward Chris Bond scored 14 points, guard Jesse Berry had 12 and Davis chipped in with 11.

NIU played well defensively on Jones, a potential NBA draft pick, for most of the game but couldn't stop the other hot shooting Cardinals players.

"For the first half we were going to double down on Jones and try to limit his touches," Montgomery said. "Then at halftime we changed it because he wasn't really hurting us, but their shooters were."

Nader was the only NIU player to score in double digits, something Montgomery would like to see changed down the road.

"I looked at the stats and I see that Ball State had four guys in double figures and that's what I envisioned us to be," Montgomery said.

"We definitely take the team approach; we want to see multiple guys in double figures, we want multiple guys with six, seven or eight points. I thought we had great shots, we just missed them. But sometimes, that's just the way the ball bounces."

Men’s basketball to take on Bowling Green

By Brian Earle | February 5, 2013

Men’s basketball will look to close out its three-game home stand on a positive note when it takes on Bowling Green today. The Huskies (5-15, 3-5 MAC) have gone 1-1 during their home stand, earning an exciting victory over Kent State, 67-65, and losing...

Sophomore Abdel Nader (#23) dribbles the ball in the game against Kent State on Jan 30. Nader would go on to score 26 points and the winning basket.

Men’s basketball falls to Toledo, 69-65

By Brian Earle | February 2, 2013

Looking to win two consecutive games for the first time this season, men’s basketball took on Toledo on Saturday. Despite their strong play and resilient effort, the Huskies (5-15, 3-5 MAC) fell to the Rockets (9-10, 5-3 MAC), 69-65. The Huskies found...

Men’s basketball looks to rebound after OT loss to UW-Milwaukee

By Matt Hopkinson | December 9, 2012

Coming off a win against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, NIU men’s basketball went on the road for the first of its four-game roadtrip. On Friday, the Huskies (2-6) were defeated by UW-Milwaukee (3-5) in a game that took overtime to decide...

Men’s basketball looks to separate themselves from the past

By Matt Hopkinson | November 7, 2012

With its opening game of the season set for tomorrow night, NIU men’s basketball is trying to separate itself from last season. Whether or not they would admit it, last season’s play and off-court issues overshadowed the foundation coach Mark Montgomery...

Men’s basketball looks to build up momentum

By Brian Thomas | October 29, 2012

With a year of experience under his belt as head coach, Mark Montgomery is looking forward to the start of the 2012-2013 men’s basketball season. Last season saw a rough start for Montgomery and the Huskies, as they went 5-26 overall and 3-13 in conference...

Huskies win on Senior Night

By Jerry Burnes | February 29, 2012

Add Marquavese Ford to Toledo’s wanted list. With 7.8 seconds left on the clock and the Huskies up three, the freshman guard stole an inbound pass and a 65-61 victory from the Rockets Wednesday night at the NIU Convocation Center. “He was jogging...

Northern Star File Photo

Grading our men’s basketball freshmen

By Brian Belford | February 27, 2012

Barring any success in the MAC tournament, the NIU men’s basketball season is coming to a close. With that in mind, it’s time to grade coach Mark Montgomery’s first recruiting class of seven freshmen. Stian Berg, Guard Berg became the team’s starting...

Men’s basketball loses to Central Michigan

By Brian Belford | February 26, 2012

Unable to sweep the season series, NIU fell to Central Michigan on the road Sunday, 74-64. The Chippewas (9-19, 4-10 MAC) were paced by sophomore guard Derek Jackson’s 19 points as they were able to control the lead from halftime to the finish. “We...

Huskies unable to hold off Eastern Michigan

By Matt Hopkinson | February 22, 2012

Despite holding a one-time 13 point lead, NIU men’s basketball came up short against Eastern Michigan Wednesday losing 48-45.The Huskies (3-23, 2-11 MAC) led Eastern Michigan (12-16, 7-6 MAC) in many key statistical categories such as rebounds 42-28,...

NIU men’s, women’s basketball get some love on Valentine’s Day

By Jimmy Johnson | February 13, 2012

Since it's Valentine's Day, it's time to show some love to NIU athletics.Specifically, I'll be shedding some affection for the Huskies' basketball teams.Here's some love for NIU hoops... 1) Kathi Bennett/Amanda Corral/Claire Jakubicek Mad props to Bennett,...