Miami-Ohio (9-10) at Northern Illinois (9-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 4, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (10,000) -- DeKalb, Illinois. Television: MAC TV, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Miami-Ohio 5-3, Northern Illinois 4-6. Away Record: Miami-Ohio 4-7, Northern Illinois 5-5. Neutral Record: Miami-Ohio 0-0, Northern Illinois 0-0. Conference Record: Miami-Ohio 5-3, Northern Illinois 3-5. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 25-14.
GAME NOTES: Following a four-game losing streak, the Northern Illinois Huskies have won two games in a row and will try for a third as they host the Miami- Ohio RedHawks in Mid-American Conference play at the Convocation Center.
Miami ended a three-game win streak with a loss to Toledo last week, but got back in the win column with its most recent matchup against Eastern Michigan Saturday, 65-61. In the MAC East Division, the RedHawks are a game behind Akron and Ohio University in the conference standings.
Northern Illinois needed overtime to defeat a struggling Ball State team in MAC action, 67-65, Saturday. At 3-5 in conference play, the Huskies are three games back of 6-2 Toledo in the MAC West Division.
Miami leads the all-time series with Northern Illinois, 25-14. Northern Illinois has won both of the last two meetings however, and holds a 10-6 record at home in DeKalb.
Eastern Michigan took a 30-22 lead into the intermission against Miami on Saturday, but the RedHawks weren't about to go down that easily. They battled back to outscore the Eagles in the second half, 43-31, to take the four-point victory in conference play. Will Sullivan notched 19 points to pace the RedHawks in the contest, while Will Felder tallied 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the double-double. Geovonie McKnight added 10 points in the Miami victory.
Felder has been on a roll this season, leading his RedHawks in both scoring and rebounding. Felder notched 14.8 ppg this season on 54.7 percent shooting from the floor, and brings down an average of 7.4 rpg. Reggie Johnson, who has been away from the team since late December for personal reasons, is the only other Miami player to average double figures in scoring. McKnight is right on the verge though, at 9.9 ppg.
Like Eastern Michigan and Miami, Ball State took a 30-22 lead into halftime against Northern Illinois, which forced the Huskies to battle back in the second half. They outscored the Cardinals by eight points to send it to overtime, where NIU prevailed. Aaric Armstead scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Huskies, while Jordan Threloff netted 13 points with eight rebounds. NIU shot just 38.5 percent in the game.
Dontel Highsmith, who underwent knee surgery earlier this year and is out for an extended period of time, is the only Northern Illinois player to average scoring numbers in double digits. Darrell Bowie is the closest to Highsmith's total at 9.6 ppg with Travon Baker behind him at 9.1 ppg. Baker's 53 assists tops the team this season, and Bowie's 6.7 rpg is also a team high. Threloff (7.5 ppg and 5.7 rpg) leads the team in blocked shots with 18 on the year.
Northern Illinois' home advantage should help, but the fact that the Huskies don't have a bona fide scorer or real scoring threat doesn't help their cause. Miami is capable of going on the road and putting up enough points to down NIU.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Ohio 68, Northern Illinois 60
02/04 10:39:57 ET