Northern Illinois posted its best defensive effort in seven seasons allowing just 42 points on Saturday afternoon, but it came in a losing effort as the Huskies fell to Eastern Michigan, 42-25, at the EMU Convocation Center.
“Our guys played hard,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery.
“Unfortunately, we just couldn’t make a shot. We just needed someone to make a basket to get our team going, but I wouldn’t say that we were taking bad shots. We had makeable, open shots, they just wouldn’t go in, but our guys kept defending, kept playing hard.
“It becomes contagious, both making shots and missing shots. At Central (Michigan on Wednesday night), it was contagious the other way, we made some shots and then everyone started making some. At 18-4 (at the half), if we come out and make a couple of baskets we would have been right back in it … but it just didn’t happen.”
Eastern Michigan’s Glenn Bryant was the lone player in double figures in the contest, he had 10 points. Freshman guard Daveon Balls (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) led NIU with seven points.
Northern Illinois turned the ball over a season-low eight times in the contest and pulled down a season-high 23 offensive rebounds but didn’t have an answer for the Eastern Michigan 2-3 zone. NIU forced 15 Eastern Michigan turnovers and held the Eagles to just 37.1 percent (13-of-35) shooting in the contest. The Huskies finished with just eight made field goals and shot 13.1 percent for the afternoon.
The last time the Huskies held an opponent to 42-or-fewer points came in a 62-42 victory over Wright State on Dec. 13, 2005.
The Huskies will return home on Wednesday, Jan. 30, to begin at three-game homestand against Kent State. Game time against the Golden Flashes is scheduled for 7 p.m.