Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student media since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

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."

Dani Parish

Softball heads to Carbondale for Coach B Invitational

By Brian Belford | February 29, 2012

NIU softball will travel to Carbondale to play four games over two days this weekend in the Coach B Invitational. During the four game stretch, the Huskies will face Wright State, SIUE, Western Illinois and Southern Illinois. NIU coach Lindsay Chouinard...

Northern Star File Photo 11/11/11

Montgomery plans to build NIU his way

By Brian Belford | February 28, 2012

Mark Montgomery, NIU men’s basketball coach, said he is slowly building up the program the way he wants to. Montgomery, following in the footsteps of Joe Novak, former NIU football coach, said he wants to build the basketball program with a certain...

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...

Softball seeing double

By Brian Belford | February 26, 2012

When NIU softball coach Lindsay Chouinard recruited Kristyn and Kaitlyn Barrett, it was safe to say that she might have been seeing double. Kaitlyn, the oldest, and Kristyn, are identical freshmen twins on the NIU softball team. Both said they came to...

Since you’ve already paid for NIU tickets, you might as well go to games

By Brian Belford | February 21, 2012

As an NIU student, there are a lot of things to pay for.The biggest of these, of course, is tuition.According to NIU's bursar tuition estimator, an average, 12 credit hour student pays an estimated yearly tuition of $10,661.68.This grand total includes...

Northern Star File Photo

Men’s hoops loses on buzzer beater to SIUE

By Brian Belford | February 19, 2012

EDWARDSVILLE | Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville hit a buzzer beater shot to steal a 64-62 win away from NIU men's basketball.The Huskies shot 38 percent in the second half and let a possible win slip through their fingers.In their Sears Bracket...

Erik Anderson | Northern Star

Broncos buck Huskies

By Brian Belford | February 16, 2012

Amid a pink-shirted theme for breast cancer awareness, NIU men's basketball only made fans aware that it once again lost, this time a 78-53 defeat courtesy of Western Michigan.Western Michigan (11-15, 5-7 MAC) was consistent in its rout of the Huskies...

X has yet to hit his mark

By Brian Belford | February 14, 2012

Xavier Silas always seemed destined for success.If you call success the NBA Developmental League, then he's achieved it.Yes, the Silas of the surplus Twitter followers and never-ending NBA dreams now toils away under the radar on the Philadelphia 76ers'...

Coaches Corner: Todd Townsend

Coaches Corner: Todd Townsend

By Brian Belford | February 13, 2012

The Northern Star caught up with Todd Townsend, NIU men's basketball assistant coach, who talked about playing with Dwayne Wade at Marquette, and what he would say to NIU students to convince them to come out to one of their games. Northern Star: You...

Northern Star File Photo

Softball set to open 2012 season this weekend

By Eli Gehn and Brian Belford | February 8, 2012

NIU softball will get its 2012 season under way in Hammond, La. Friday.The Huskies will play five games this weekend in the Southern Louisiana Tournament against Southern University and Nicholls State. NIU will play Tennessee-Martin and Troy Saturday...