On Saturday afternoon, February 18, the Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team will return to the NIU Convocation Center for the annual “Cram the Convo” doubleheader. The Huskie women’s basketball team will play Ball State at 1 p.m., and the NIU men’s basketball team will play Miami at 3:30 p.m. Northwestern Medicine will provide a pair of NIU black winter gloves to the first 1,000 fans who arrive at 12 p.m. Black attire is also encouraged for the doubleheader on Saturday.
Additionally, the matchup against the RedHawks on Saturday will be broadcast on ESPN3, 94-9 WDKB, and The Varsity Network app.
The Huskies and Ohio are currently tied for fifth in the Mid-American Conference standings with five games remaining in the regular season. The MAC’s top eight teams will advance to the conference tournament, which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, from March 9 to 11.
Last time out, the Huskies lost to Ball State 87-77, snapping a four-game road winning streak. Against the Cardinals, Columbus, New Jersey’s David Coit scored a team-high 22 points and tied a career high with six assists. In addition to tying a career high with six triples, Coit now has the fourth-best total of 75 three-point field goals made in a single season in NIU history.
Coit is 32nd in the nation and has an average of 2.9 made threes per game, second best in the MAC behind only Akron’s Xavier Castaneda (3.5). Coit has scored at least 20 points in nine of his last ten games, averaging 19.8 points per game over that span.
The RedHawks travel to DeKalb with a record of 8-18 overall and 2-11 in MAC play. Miami has three players with double figures, led by Mekhi Lairy, who averages 17.6 points per game. Anderson Mirambeaux scores 13.5 points per game, while Morgan Safford contributes 15.6 points per game. With a free throw percentage of 77.5 percent, Miami leads the MAC and is 13th in the country.
This season, NIU has made 199 three-pointers collectively, which ranks sixth best in school history. This season, Phoenix, Ariz.’s Darweshi Hunter is shooting 42.5 percent (37 of 87) from three, which ranks sixth in the MAC. Hunter is shooting 46.9% (30 of 64) from three in league play, which is third best in the conference.
On January 17, NIU prevailed 81-77 over Oxford in the first meeting of the season between the two teams. NIU had four players score double figures, with Coit scoring 21 points to lead the way. Kaleb Thornton from Bolingbrook, Illinois contributed 13 points, and Anthony Crump from Inkster, Michigan contributed 11 points. Zarique Nutter from Newark, New Jersey scored 16 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
NIU will play its final two road games of the season on the road following Saturday’s contest. On Tuesday, February 21, the Huskies will travel to Ohio, and on Saturday, February 25, they will travel to Central Michigan.