The Northern Illinois Huskies will travel to the Convocation Center (OH) to take on the Ohio Bobcats this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The Northern Illinois Huskies dropped to 7-6 (0-0 MAC-West) on the season after being defeated by the 8th ranked Michigan State Spartans, 88-60, this past Saturday. Northern Illinois had no answers on either end of the court for the Spartans in the 1st half and couldn’t fight back after they went into halftime trailing by a 43-19 margin. Northern Illinois shot just 33.3% from the field while they allowing Michigan State to shoot 50.9% from the field & 48.3% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Huskies was Eugene German who had 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal.
On the season, Northern Illinois is averaging 79.9 ppg on 50.5% shooting from the field. The Huskies are averaging 7.3 three-pointers per game on 37.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Northern Illinois has been led by Eugene German (20.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.1 spg), Levi Bradley (16.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.8 apg), Dante Thorpe (11.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.8 apg), and Lacey James (8.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg).
Defensively, Northern Illinois is allowing their opponents to average 73.4 ppg on 44.4% shooting from the field. The Huskies have a rebound margin of 4.9 and a turnover margin of 0.1.
The Ohio Bobcats improved to 8-4 (0-0 MAC-East) on the season after defeating the FIU Golden Panthers, 68-66, this past Sunday. Ohio allowed FIU to fight back from a double-digit deficit midway through the 2nd half to take a late lead, however, the Bobcats were solid defensively down the stretch and won the game after a Jason Carter put back with just 2.6 seconds left in regulation. Ohio shot 50.9% from the field and outrebounded FIU by a 44-2 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Bobcats was Jason Carter who had 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists.
On the season, Ohio is averaging 79.9 ppg on 50.5% shooting from the field. The Bobcats are averaging 7.3 three-pointers per game on 37.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Ohio has been led by Jason Carter (18.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.7 apg), Teyvion Kirk (15.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.8 spg), Ben Vander Plas (10.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg), and Dough Taylor (8.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.1 spg, 1.9 bpg).
Defensively, Ohio is allowing their opponents to average 73.0 ppg on 43.5% shooting from the field. The Bobcats have a rebound margin of 8.1 and a turnover margin of -2.1.
The Huskies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall. The Bobcats are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. MAC opponents and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games.
Northern Illinois continues to alternate wins & losses as although they have a solid offense that ranks 62nd in scoring offense, 12th in FG%, and 56th in 3P-FG%, the Huskies have struggled defensively as they rank 222nd in scoring defense. Ohio has won 3 of their last 4 games and have been nothing more than average on either end of the court as they rank just 177th in scoring offense and 213th in scoring defense.
Northern Illinois has had some tough road games this season (Butler & Michigan State) however, I was impressed with their recent outing agianst a very good Northern Kentucky team as they lost by just a 65-62 margin on the road. Northern Illinois has some size to battle Ohio on the boards and although the Bobcats are 7-0 at home on the season, I think the Huskies offense will be able to do enough in this one to allow them, at worst, to cover with the points. Take Northern Illinois and the points.