Senior Dontel Highsmith scored 16 points while sophomore Jaylen Key and senior Marin Maric added 14 points.
"It was a game of runs, but it . . .
After the teams traded baskets, Marin converted an old-fashioned three-point play with just under two minutes left to pull NIU within a pair, 77-75.
Following a pair of free throws by CSUN, Porter knocked down a triple for the Huskies to trim the lead to just one, 79-78, with 1:19 left.
The Matadors made four-straight free throws as the lead grew back to five, 83-78, with just under 20 seconds to play. CSUN finished the night 23-of-28 (82.1 percent) from the foul line.
NIU (3-1) didn't fold as Porter knocked down another triple to bring the Huskies back within two. The Matadors then split a pair at the line before sophomore Levi Bradley split a pair for the Huskies.
The Huskies had one last, unlikely chance as CSUN turned the ball over to NIU after the Bradley free throw but Highsmith's desperation triple try came up empty as the Matadors escaped with the victory.
Aaron Parks led the Matadors with 22 points; Tavrion Dawson added 21, Kendall Smith chipped in 15 and Rakim Lubin had 10 points as CSUN shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the field as a team in the contest.
Key scored seven in the first four minutes of the contest as NIU raced out to an 11-4 lead. Maric added a pair and Highsmith made a layup as the Huskies took a seven-point lead with 16:03 to play in the opening half.
CSUN (2-2) trimmed the NIU lead to just three, 19-16, before a basket by Key and a corner triple from Porter pushed the NIU advantage back to eight, 24-16, with just under eight minutes to play in the opening half.
The Matadors answered with the next six to cut the NIU lead to just one, but the Huskies responded with eight of the next 10, taking a 32-25 lead. Bradley opened the burst with a wing triple, Armstead, Porter and Key added points from the free-throw line.
A 9-0 run from CSUN put the Matadors in front with just over 90 seconds left before the half, but a basket from Bradley and a tip-in from Highsmith pushed NIU back in front at the half, 36-34.
Highsmith fueled the Huskie offense early in the second half, scoring nine points in the opening eight minutes of the half as NIU held a five-point advantage, 56-51.
CSUN clawed back to pull even, 65-65, on a pair of free throws from Smith with 6:47 to play. NIU responded with the next five before the 10-0 burst that gave the Matadors the lead for good.
NIU will return home on Wednesday, Nov. 23, when the Huskies host Cal Poly at 7 p.m., on the first day of the NIU Thanksgiving Classic. The contest will be the second of a doubleheader on Wednesday night as Elon and UIC will meet in the first game at 4:30 p.m.
(Courtesy of NIU Athletics)