Ryan Broekhoff led Valparaiso (8-4) with 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Crusaders kept Northern Illinois out of the win column with a 59-48 come-from-behind victory in DeKalb.
Northern Illinois led 28-25 at halftime and extended the gap to 37-31 on Nader’s 3-pointer with 13:34 to play. But Broekhoff’s 3-pointer 5 minutes later put the Crusaders ahead for good at 41-39.
“I thought we played our best half of basketball in the first half,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “We got up by seven, we were sharing the ball, we were getting good drives and we were in a great offensive rhythm. In the second half, their zone slowed us up a little bit and we started turning the ball over and forcing some shots.”
Northern Illinois outrebounded Valparaiso 32-25. However, the Huskies committed 20 turnovers while forcing 13.
The Huskies return to action after the new year, hosting Roosevelt at 7 p.m. Jan. 2 before opening Mid-American Conference play Saturday, Jan. 7 at home vs. Eastern Michigan.