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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 5, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: NIU Convocation Center (10.000) -- DeKalb, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: Dartmouth 2-1, NIU 2-3. Away Record: Dartmouth 1-0, NIU 0-1. Neutral Record: Dartmouth 0-0, NIU 0-0. Conference Record: Dartmouth 0-0, NIU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: In their last home game before the calendar turns over the Northern Illinois Huskies will entertain the Dartmouth Big Green in a non- conference clash at the NIU Convocation Center.
This contest is the second part of a four-game road trip for the Big Green, who got the set underway with an 81-56 trouncing of Maine on Sunday. The win was the third in four games for Dartmouth this season. The Big Green will remain on the road next to take on IUPU-Fort Wayne.
Last time out for Northern Illinois ended in disappointment as the Huskies were put down by Nebraska, 63-58. The loss was the second in the last three games for Northern Illinois, which owns just a 2-4 record overall. The bulk of the games have come at home, where the Huskies are 2-3. However they will play their next four games and six of the next seven on the road beginning at Massachusetts.
Thursday's matchup marks the first time the Big Green and Huskies have met on the hardwood.
Dartmouth beat up on Maine down low, outscoring the Black Bears, 44-20, in the paint and 20-7 in second-chance points. Dartmouth was also disruptive on defense, forcing nearly twice as many turnovers (13) as it committed (seven).
Although the sample size is small and the competition they have faced has not been overwhelming, the Big Green have enjoyed early success. Dartmouth is scoring 85.3 points per game and netting 50.4 percent of its shots from the floor, while holding a +11.5 advantage on the boards for the year. Alex Mitola (13 ppg, 3.0 apg) leads the way. The scorers Mitola is normally feeding the ball to are Connor Boehm (12.2 ppg, 5 rpg), John Golden (10.8 ppg) and Tyler Melville (10.5 ppg). Gabas Maldunas (9.8 ppg, 11 rpg) is another reliable scorer but his work on the glass is his most valuable skill.
Northern Illinois hung around in Lincoln but in the end didn't have enough firepower to take out Nebraska. The Huskies hit on just 28 percent of their shots from the floor in the second half and were outscored 32-24 in the paint.
The Huskies did finish even on the boards with the Cornhuskers (38-38), which continued a trend of solid work on the glass this season. Northern Illinois is pulling down 43.3 rebounds per game, which is the 15th-best mark in the country. Northern Illinois has plenty of chances in that area as it is shooting just 40.7 percent from the floor, while holding foes to below 40 percent. There aren't a long list of reliable scorers for the Huskies. Darrell Bowie (10.5 ppg, 7 rpg) is the only player on the roster in double figures, though there are five others putting in at least seven points per game. Jordan Threloff (9.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) comes off the bench as the second best scoring threat.
One of Dartmouth's biggest advantages this season has been on the boards. The Huskies will be able to contend in that area and if they can get enough shots to fall on their home floor, a win could be the result.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Illinois 64, Dartmouth 61
12/05 10:32:39 ET