After a huge comeback was needed to defeat Maine on Sunday, Northern Illinois just did not have another comeback in them. The Huskies fell short against the DePaul Blue Demons last night, losing 78-67.
DePaul's constant pressure and full court press was a problem for the Huskies all night as they turned the ball over 21 times. As usual, sophomore Billy Garrett Jr. led the Blue Demons with 15 points, three assists, and three rebounds. Illinois transfer Myke Henry also dropped 15 points along with 5 rebounds. The Huskies just did not have an answer for the outstanding guard play of the Blue Demons.
It wasn't all bad for the Huskies though as there were many positives for them to take away from this game. This was by far newcomer Chuk Iroegbu's best game in a Huskie uniform, tallying a career high 15 points along with an impressive 3 steals. The Huskies will need Iroegbu to continue to make strides off the bench if they hope to content in the MAC this year.
Leading scorer Aaric Armstead played well down the stretch tallying 12 of his 16 points in the second half. Although he will need to be more efficient as the year goes on, he still is NIU's main scoring option at this time.
The Huskies looked good from the charity stripe, going 17-22 which is encouraging to see especially early in the season.
However, where NIU lost this game was beyond the arch. The lack of 3-point shooters is alarming as the Huskies shot just 2-11 from beyond the arch. While NIU was struggling, DePaul shot 50% on 22 shots from beyond the arch. Forrest Robinson drained more 3-pointers than the entire NIU team(as a matter of fact he doubled NIU's total for 3's made).
So although there were many positive things to takeaway from this game, the Huskies will need to improve on the perimeter quickly if they hope to eventually beat teams like DePaul. With this loss the Huskies moved to 3-2 on the year however the good news is that they have over a week to prepare for their next game against Eastern Illinois (2-5).