DEKALB, Ill -- Northern Illinois capitalized on free throws and rebounds to defeat Miami 61-57 Tuesday, avenging the Huskies only MAC loss of the season.
Miami edged NIU, 69-67, on the opening night of MAC play two weeks earlier, but the teams have been on opposite paths since that time. The Huskies have won four straight, while MU has now dropped four in a row. The RedHawks also kept another negative streak alive as they remain winless on the road in 2016-17.
Miami pulled off its . . .
Things were much different against NIU this time around. The RedHawks connected on just 5 of 20 treys and hit 38.6 percent (22 of 57) of their shots overall.
Northern Illinois actually had two less field goals while knocking down 20 of 48 shots (41.7%) from the field and also five threes to its credit on 5 of 17 from beyond the arc.
A whopping total of 22 turnovers would normally be a recipe for defeat, but Miami committed 17 of its own.
As in the first contest, Northern Illinois owned advantages in rebounding (38-29) and at the free throw line (17 of 23 for NIU and 9 of 11 for MU). It proved to be enough this time.
Miami stayed with the hosts early and grabbed its last lead on a Mike Weathers drive with 7:00 remaining in the first half. Sophomore Levi Bradley, however, hit a bucket at the other end, and that kick-started a 10-0 Huskies run.
Northern held a 31-24 lead at the break. While it could not break away from the visitors, NIU managed to stay in front. Jaylen Key’s three from the corner gave NIU an eight-point lead, 54-46, with 5:40 left in the contest. But that was the last Huskie field goal on the night.
Miami closed to within three points (61-58) following a pair of Abdoulaye Harouna free throws with 14.8 left. NIU big man Marin Maric then knocked down one of two charity tosses with 7.7 left to close out scoring.
Freshman Eurene German came off the bench to lead Northern Illinois with points in 18 minutes. He was 5 of 6 from the field and hit his only trey attempt. Maric registered a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Key and senior Dontel Highsmith each notched 10 points.
Michael Weathers led Miami all scorers with 18 points, Logan McLane contributed 12 points and Harouna added 10 on 3 of 14 overall.
Miami hit the road for the fourth time in six outings Saturday when it visits Central Michigan (1:30 p.m. ET). Northern Illinois hosts Ohio (4:30 p.m. ET).