DEKALB, Ill. – SIU Edwardsville shot 51 percent (26-of-51) from the field as the Cougars earned a 73-53 road victory over the Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team on Wednesday night (Dec. 2) at the NIU Convocation Center.
SIUE held the Huskies to just 29.6 percent (8-of-27) shooting in the first half to build a 16-point halftime lead on its way to the victory.
Sophomore Tyler Cochran (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) tied a career-high with 15 points while junior Darius Beane (Carbondale, Ill./Southern Illinois) added 13 points and a team-high six rebounds.
“Unfortunately, it was not the result we wanted,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “Too many turnovers, we got off to a slow start, defense wasn’t as good tonight. We didn’t make any outside shots … we have to defend better; we have to do a lot of things better that I know we are capable of. We have to play with more confidence.
SIUE (2-2) scored 13 of the first 15 to open the contest as the Cougars took the early lead. A 6-0 run brought NIU (0-2) back within a half-dozen. Beane converted at the rim, Cochran went coast-to-coast for a layup and junior Trendon Hankerson (Novi, Mich./Novi) had a bucket as the SIUE lead was trimmed to 16-10 with just under nine minutes left in the opening half.
The Cougars answered with the next six as the lead climbed back to a dozen. NIU trimmed the SIUE advantage to nine as Beane made a pair of free throws and junior Zool Kueth (Gallatin, Tenn./Pratt CC) knocked down a short jumper in the lane as the Cougars lead, 27-16, with 4:35 left before the break.
SIUE scored the final five points of the half, all from the free-throw line, as the Cougars took a 34-18 lead into the half.
After the intermission, NIU found a better flow offensively, shooting 52 percent (13-of-25) from the field, but was unable to slow the SIUE offense as the Cougars shot 57.7 percent (15-of-26), including 50 percent (5-of-10) from three-point range, in the second stanza.
Sidney Wilson led the way for SIUE with 22 points, Mike Adewunmi added 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
NIU will hit the road for the first time this season on Saturday, December 5, as the Huskies head to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers. Game time in the Steel City is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and will be available via ACC Network Extra.