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2016-17 MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: NIU loses a Double Overtime Thriller

Armstead sets career high in points at 24 but it’s not enough as the Huskies drop to 3-3.

NCAA Basketball: Northern Illinois at DePaul
Maric and the Huskies lose a Double OT thriller
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Illinois Huskies played an eventful game on Friday afternoon vs the Elon Phoenix. Regulation was not enough neither was one overtime but after two overtimes the Elon Phoenix defeated the Huskies 85-80 in 2 Overtimes. NIU paced themselves to a fast start with 33 points in the first half to Elon’s 24. It had the makings of a double digit win but the Phoenix had other ideas on Friday afternoon. As the second half began the Phoenix used four three’s which amounted to a 14-5 run to bring the score to a 38 all tie. The man that provided most of the effort was Steven Santa Ana while he was very impressive from the three point line his name is quite awesome as well.

The game was back and forth for most of the second half but the Huskies had control through the first two media timeouts. This game as I mentioned above was won at the three point line. The Phoenix shot 36% from three while not a high percentage it was the volume that proved valuable 14 made threes. Both teams greatly struggled from the free throw line missing a combined 18 free throws.

Marin Maric and Aaric Armstead combined for 47 of NIU’s 80 points on the night. Jaylen Key gave the Huskies a third option with 15 of his own but besides their unofficial big three the Huskies only got 18 points from their remaining players. Armstead had probably his best game of his career by chipping in a career high 24 points, 16 rebounds and two steals in 43 minutes of action. LayShawn Porter struggled mightly for the Huskies only had 8 points on 3-12 shooting with five fouls and four turnovers.

Elon had a much better balanced attack with four players in double figures and another player with nine points on the night. Santa Ana led the Phoenix with 20 points chiming in many key three pointers as well as being active on both ends.

Up next 4-1 Elon takes on their third opponent in the NIU Thanksgiving Classic Cal Poly after defeating UIC and NIU in back to back days. The tournament host 3-3 NIU takes on UIC after dropping their past three games by a combined 11 points.