Akron (10-4) at Northern Illinois (3-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: NIU Convocation Center (10,000) -- Dekalb, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: Akron 8-0, NIU 2-3. Away Record: Akron 0-3, NIU 1-7. Neutral Record: Akron 2-1, NIU 0-0. Conference Record: Akron 1-0, NIU 1-0. Series Record: Akron leads, 19-9.
GAME NOTES: The Akron Zips will take a trip to the NIU Convocation Center on Saturday to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies in a Mid-American Conference matchup.
Akron comes in red-hot, looking to extend its current win streak to seven games following a 65-43 pasting of Western Michigan. The win was the 10th straight for the Zips against MAC West Division foes. Akron is one of just two schools in the MAC that has already reached 10 wins on the season (Ohio).
Northern Illinois looks to keep the ball rolling after its conference opening win against Miami-Ohio. The Huskies won their league-lifter for the first time since 2009-10, ending a five-game losing streak in the process. Wins have been hard to come by for NIU, which is just 3-10 on the season.
Akron leads the series between these two 19-9, including wins in two of the last three meetings. The Zips have split with the Huskies in 14 matchups in DeKalb.
Akron put forth a team effort against Western Michigan, as four Zips notched double digits in the lopsided. Leading the way was Nick Harney who put up 15 points. He was closely followed by Brian Walsh and Alex Abreu, with 12 points apiece. The paint was controlled by Demetrius Treadwell and Pat Forsythe who both pulled down eight rebounds. During the win streak, Akron has dominated its opponents, posting a +21.5 scoring margin and a +14.8 rebounding edge. The Zips are averaging a solid 77.1 ppg this year, behind a trio of double-figure scorers. Zeke Marshall headlines the group, converting 66.7 percent of his shots and averaging team-highs of 12.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Harney (10.4 ppg) and Treadwell (10.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) complete the trio.
Freshman Darrell Bowie and sophomore Abdel Nader were able to post 10 points and five rebounds each, while Aksel Bolin led the charge with 11 points off the bench, as the Huskies were able to earn just their third win of the season, with an 11-point decision against the RedHawks. Tied at the half, NIU went on a tear after the break, converting 12-of-19 shots the rest of the way to earn the win. The Huskies' problems are definitely linked to a lack of offense. The team is shooting an ugly .382 from the floor overall and putting up a mere 58.1 ppg. Nader is the only Husky averaging double digits at this time, with 14.2 ppg.
The Huskies can certainly build off their win over Miami last time out, but stopping Akron won't be easy. The Zips simply have too much firepower for NIU to contend with in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Akron 80, Northern Illinois 52
01/12 10:37:19 ET