Eastern Michigan vs. Northern Illinois: A Basketball Nightmare In DeKalb

I don't care if this was at a football game, no other photo could do tonight's game justice. - Jim Rogash

Something strange happened in DeKalb Thursday night. Time stood still, and two schools spent three hours hurling basketballs at a backboard until one team declared themselves the king of YOLOball.

There was a basketball game, if you can even call it that, played in DeKalb Thursday night that may have just set the sport back a few decades. Three hours after the game began, Northern Illinois' center Jordan Threloff tipped in an errant free throw to give the Huskies a 61-59 lead in double-overtime. With 0.9 seconds left on the clock, EMU (15-11, 7-6 MAC) failed to convert, and NIU (12-13, 6-7 MAC) took home the win. It sounds much more exciting than it really was.

I can't help but come to the realization that three hours of my life were lost Thursday evening. Three hours I could have spent on something productive, such as knitting a beard warmer, or learning how to properly oil a typewriter, or memorizing the numbers of my contacts. Really, the possibilities  were endless, but instead I was forced to listen to Bill Baker call Karington Ward "Kensington" for three hours as two teams engaged in an on-court match of tidily winks.

It's impossible to adequately recap such a contest, so instead I leave you with some takeaways

  • NIU held a commanding 4-0 lead five minutes into the game.
  • 10 minutes in the two teams had more turnovers (12) than total points (11). They combined for 35 total turnovers on the night (EMU 12, NIU 23).
  • Neither team cracked double-digits until the 3:50 mark when Darrell Bowie sank one of two free throws to put NIU up 10-8.
  • At halftime the score was 16-16. The teams had made a combined nine field goals, and were each shooting below 17 percent on the game. Remember that miserable game between these two last year? Yeah, this matchup managed to out-produce the first half, but only by 10, and only thanks to 6-6 run in the final 3:30 of the first half (Yeah, the teams almost doubled their production from the first 16:30 in that span).
  • At the end of regulation the teams had scored just 94 combined points, they each narrowly missed out on doubling their first half totals, and still we hadn't cracked 50 points yet. Neither team hit the 50 point plateau until 1:21 into the first overtime when Jordan Threloff sank a pair of free throws.
  • It took Northern Illinois 33:18 seconds to reach 35 points Thursday night. In October when the Huskies and eagles played on the gridiron, Jordan Lynch scored as many points with 2:08 still left before halftime.
  • EMU averages 36 rebounds a game, NIU 37. They combined for 105 rebounds (42 & 63 respectively) in this game. They tallied just 10 total assists (two and eight respectively). EMU didn't have a single assist at halftime. More than 300 players average more assists per game than EMU got as a team in a double-overtime loss.
  • Three Huskies had triple digit rebounding nights, led by Jordan Threloff with 18. Only Da'Shonte Riley had double-digit rebounds for EMU, he finished with 13.
  • Threloff led all scorers with 27 points, making half of NIU's 18 converted field goals on the night. His 27 points were more than the other four NIU starters combined (26).
  • The schools went a combined 35-for-125 (28 percent) on the night, a combined 3-30 from behind the arc (NIU making just 7.7 percent of its attempts) and a combined 47-for-73 from the charity stripe (64 percent).
  • The Huskies managed just two more points (61) Thursday night than their football counterparts (59) did in an October win over EMU's football team.
  • I may or may not have shoved a toothpick in my eye.
The best news? We get to do this again on March 1, this time in Ypsilanti!

If anyone needs me Ill be curled up with a bottle of Jameson on a stool in my driveway. I need to forget this night ever happened.

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