NIU (2-0) found a balance of pace and possession most of the night, never settling into one style of play and forcing the Vandals (2-1) to play catch up the majority of the game. Darrell Bowie's nine points in the first half helped epitomize that, with the offense running from the wing in the first twenty minutes. Huskies held a 39-27 lead at the break.
Aaric Armstead led the charge in the second half with eleven points in the frame. Armstead and Bowie both finished with 16 points to lead NIU. Travon Baker piped in 14 points, and Jordan Threloff was a rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards.
In a sign of the changing times, the biggest advantage for the Huskies came from the three-point line. NIU was 8-for-19 from deep, and held Idaho to just 5-for-23. Connor Hill felt the brunt of the frustration for the Vandals, going just 1-for-10 from beyond the arc. Senior point guard Mike Scott led all scorers with 17.
It was a solid game all around for Northern, losing the lead just twice during the course of the night; both those instances came midway through the first half. Idaho was never quite shoved aside in the second half, but the advantage never dipped below five in the final twenty minutes.
NIU's sporadic schedule at the start of the year continues, with the next game coming next Wednesday at Iowa.