Buffalo (9-6) at Northern Illinois (7-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: NIU Convocation Center (9,100) -- DeKalb, Illinois.
Television: None. Home Record: Buffalo 8-1, NIU 4-5. Away Record: Buffalo 1-4,
NIU 3-5. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-1, NIU 0-0. Conference Record: Buffalo 3-2,
NIU 1-4. Series Record: Buffalo leads, 15-13.
GAME NOTES: The Northern Illinois Huskies and Buffalo Bulls get together for a
Mid-American Conference tussle at the NIU Convocation Center on Saturday
Buffalo has been scuffling of late, losing two of its last three decisions,
following a four-game win streak. The Bulls are now 9-6 overall, which
includes a 3-2 mark against the rest of the MAC, They will host their next
outing against Western Michigan.
Northern Illinois has dropped three straight and four of its five contests in
MAC play. The recent slide has dropped the Huskies to 7-10 overall, including
a 4-5 mark on their home floor. They will visit Kent State and Ball State in
their next two matchups.
The Bulls absolutely dominated the Huskies when the teams met on Jan. 8,
earning a 67-46 win at home. The Bulls lead the all-time series, 15-14.
Buffalo was narrowly defeated on Thursday, falling in a 71-68 decision
against Ball State. Javon McCrea scored 28 points and collected 11 rebounds in
the contest, but the Bulls only knocked down 1-of-14 shots from beyond the
McCrea (17.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.7 bpg) is one of the top post players in the MAC,
if not the country. The 6-foot-7 forward is second in the conference in
scoring and rebounding and third in blocks. His performance against Ball State
earned him his eighth double-double of the season, and third in the last four
games. Joshua Freelove (12.5 ppg) is the next best scoring option, with Will
Regan (10.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg) also getting in on the action. Jarod Oldham (7.8
ppg, 5.6 apg) makes up for a lack of scoring punch by leading the MAC in
Even though Travon Baker scored a career-high 17 points, it was not enough to
push Northern Illinois past Toledo on Wednesday, as the Huskies fell in a
77-68 final. NIU shot 43.8 percent for the game and had 17 turnovers compared
to only nine assists.
The Huskies have a real issue when it comes to offense, as they rank dead last
in the league in just about every offensive category, including scoring (62.4
ppg), assists (8.2 apg) and field goal percentage (.385). There is hope,
however, with the team leading the conference in rebounding (38.4 ppg), while
holding teams to 65.4 ppg. Darrell Bowie (9.4 pp, 6.8 rpg) is the leading
scorer and rebounder for the squad, although he is connecting on only 36.2
percent of his field goal attempts. Bowie had 16 points on 5-of-14 from the
field against Toledo.
If the Huskies are going to win this game they will need to severely limit
McCrea's production. Although Bowie may be able to neutralize the Bulls' star
to a degree, it won't be enough to stop him all together.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 72, Northern Illinois 64
01/25 10:14:59 ET
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