Freshman Justin Thomas scored a career-high 14 points, but he was the only Huskie in double figures in the contest.
"We didn't get . . .
Indiana State (3-4) led 14-6, before a 12-0 run from the Huskies pushed NIU in front by four. A pair of free throws from senior Marin Maric opened the run, senior Dontel Highsmith knocked down a corner triple and Thomas had a steal and coast-to-coast layup to force a Sycamore timeout with six minutes to play in the half.
Following the timeout, Highsmith made another basket and senior Aaric Armstead connected on a trio of free throws as NIU took an 18-14 lead with just over four minutes to play in the half.
Highsmith finished with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field.
The Sycamores answered back to regain the lead, 24-22, but the Huskies closed the half with a jumper in the paint from Thomas and a coast-to-coast layup just before the halftime horn by Armstead as the Huskies took a 26-24 lead into the intermission.
The Layup just before the buzzer pushed Armstead over the 1,000-point plateau, making him the 30th player in NIU history to reach the milestone. Armstead finished with nine points.
NIU (4-4) shot 40 percent (10-of-25) from the field in the first half, while holding Indiana State to just 33.3 percent (10-of-30) shooting.
Indiana State raced out of halftime with the first seven points to take a five-point lead, 31-26, in the opening three minutes of the second half.
The Sycamores led by six before a triple from sophomore Laytwan Porter and a short jumper from freshman Noah McCarty cut the Indiana State lead to just one, 35-34.
A 10-0 run helped push the Sycamores lead to 45-34 just before the midway point of the second half. Indiana State's lead grew to as much as 13, but the Huskies cut their deficit back to a half-dozen with just under three minutes to play.
Thomas scored six points in under 45 seconds, four from the free-throw line and two off a steal of an inbounds pass, as the Huskies cut the Indiana State lead to just 56-50 with 2:46 remaining. Indiana State responded by scoring seven of the next eight as the Sycamores closed out the victory.
T.J. Bell led all scorers with 17 points for Indiana State, Brenton Scott added 14 points and Everett Clemons chipped in 12 for the Sycamores.
Following a break for finals, the Huskies will return to action on Sunday, Dec. 11, when they travel north to the Twin Cities to take on Minnesota. Game time against the Golden Gophers is scheduled for 4 p.m.
(Courtesy of NIU Athletics)