NIU Drops MAC Opener at Miami

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Five players scored in double figures but the Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team dropped a one-possession game at Miami (Ohio), 69-67, on Tuesday night at Millett Hall in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.

Senior Aaric Armstead and freshman Eugene German each scored 13 points, sophomore Levi Bradley scored 11 points with a career-best 14 rebounds while senior Marin Maric and senior Dontel Highsmith  each chipped in 10 points.

NIU (8-6, 0-1 MAC) overcame a 32-24 deficit at halftime as the Huskies shot 51.5 percent (17-of-33) from the field in the second 20 minutes, but came up empty in their final two possessions as they fell by two to the RedHawks.

“I liked how we came out in the second half to get back into the game,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “I thought we took care of the ball a lot better in the second half. (Miami’s) changing defenses bothered us in the first half. I liked the fight in the second half, disappointed with the result, you just have to find a way to win that game down the stretch.”

Abdoulaye Harouna scored a game-high 18 points to lead Miami; Rod Mills added 15, Logan McLane chipped in 14 points and Michael Weathers had 11 points for the RedHawks.

The Huskies will return home on Saturday, Jan. 7, as they host Central Michigan at the NIU Convocation Center in their MAC home opener. Game time against the Chippewas is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., and will be the second half of a doubleheader with the NIU women’s basketball team taking the floor at 1 p.m.

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