Northern Illinois 65, SIU-Edwardsville 54

It's fair to say that football and basketball are miles apart at NIU, but it's getting there. Perhaps the magic of the BCS propelled the Huskies to their first win over a D1 nonconference opponent in 18 tries under Mark Montgomery. And it's not that they ran away with this one, but they stayed in control for both halves.

And of course, the game was almost a sideshow to the main attraction: a pep rally at halftime to honor the MAC champion and Miami-bound football team. It was evident in the attendance: for the SIUE game it was 2,750. Last Tuesday against UIC, the announced crowd was 947.

Aksel Bolin had 15 points and three steals, and freshman Sam Mader helped out with 11 points, four assists and four rebounds. So NIU improves to 2-5 and their next game is Friday at Milwaukee.

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