Sophomore wing Darrell Bowie (Milwaukee, Wis./La Jolla Prep) recorded his first career double-double, scoring a career-high 23 points and grabbing a career-best 12 rebounds, as the Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team defeated Saint Joseph’s (Ind.), 111-61, on Sunday afternoon at the NIU Convocation Center.
Four Huskies scored in double figures, with sophomore guard J.J. Cravatta (Streator, Ill./Streator Township) adding a career-best 20 points, junior guard Aaron Armstead (Chicago, Ill./Hales Franciscan/San Jose City College) chipping in 13 points, and freshman center Marin Maric (Split, Croatia/La Lumiere School) recording a career-best 12 to go along with Bowie’s 23.
The 111 points scored by the Huskies marked the first time since Nov. 26, 2005 that NIU reached the century mark (102 vs. Aurora) and the most points scored by the Huskies since recording 121 against Rockford on Dec. 6, 2000.
“I thought we did a great job of getting consecutive stops, and that gave us the opportunity to get out and run,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “Our team played very unselfish, we had six guys with eight-or-more points, I thought our defense was solid and good defense led to easy offense which got us going in the first half.”
NIU (2-3) led by just three, 22-19, with 13:30 to play in the first half before a quick 10-3 spurt gave NIU a double-digit lead, 32-22, just over two minutes later.
Cravatta opened the burst with a triple, senior forward Aksel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Asker) added a layup, Cravatta hit another three and redshirt junior Jordan Threloff (DeKalb, Ill./DeKalb/Illinois State) finished the run with a layup to open the Huskie advantage.
Saint Joseph’s (1-4) cut the lead back to a half-dozen, 36-30, with seven-and-a-half minutes to play in the half before NIU close the half on a 23-7 run to take a 59-37 lead into the intermission.
The Huskies scored 10 of the first 12 points out of the break to open up a 30-point lead, 69-39.
Sophomore guard Daveon Balls (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) scored four points, dished out a career-best eight assists and grabbed seven rebounds for the Huskies. Freshman guard Aaric Armstead (Chicago, Ill./La Jolla Prep) scored a career-high nine points and recorded a game-high three steals.
NIU outrebounded Saint Joseph’s 67-22 in the contest; the Huskies outscored the Pumas 60-20 in the paint, 41-9 on second chance points and 62-19 from the bench. NIU made just six three-point field goals in the game, four coming from Cravatta.
Cameron Vines led Saint Joseph’s with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-6 from beyond the three-point arc.
NIU will return to action Saturday, Nov. 30, when it makes its first road trip of the season. The Huskies will travel to Lincoln, Neb., to meet the Cornhuskers; game time is scheduled for noon.
For more information on NIU men’s basketball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.