MAC Basketball Tournament: Northern Illinois' Cinderella Run Ends On Paragraph Two

Fun while it lasted, boys. All of two days.


Final - 3.7.2012 1 2 Total
(12) Northern Illinois Huskies (5-26, 3-13) 28 26 54
(8) Western Michigan Broncos (14-19, 6-10) 31 40 71

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The first half was powered by some scintillating shooting but ultimately, like we said earlier, the Huskies have nobody that could guard the bulky Matt Stainbrook one-on-one. He had nine points, nine rebounds and four assists, but the assist mark seems a bit down as NIU was forced to double him routinely, and he'd begin the passing around until somebody was open. It was too much to bear.

But the star of the game was Mike Douglas, not to be denied another game and CERTAINLY not to lose in a matter like this, who went for 19 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. Demetrius Ward had 13 points while Brandon Pokley scored 12.

So that's it for NIU. The shock heard round the conference started by a hapless team is a pretty good way to transition into the offseason — about as good as they could hope — and while nobody had a particularly great showing, Tony Nixon led the team with 11, Antone Christine scored 10 and Marquavese Ford showed up with a good day at the point: eight points, six assists, one turnover. They still resemble a team with a LOT of growing up to do, as well as how to run an offense without fear of throwing the ball away, but that's why they call it rebuilding.

Western gets to play 4-seeded Kent State tomorrow night, a team they almost beat in Kent, so watch out. They still have a chance to wipe clean the stench of disappointment on this season.

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