High school teammates Darrell Bowie and Aaric Armstead combined for 36 points and 16 rebounds as Northern Illinois ran away with a dominant 88-63 victory over Central Michigan Wednesday night in the Convocation Center.
DeKalb native Jordan Threloff added 14 points and seven rebounds as the Huskies dominated on the glass, out rebounding the Chips 39-19.
In the first half, the Huskies used size to their advantage, dominating in rebounding and points scored in the paint. Northern Illinois bullied its way to collecting 21 rebounds in the first twenty minutes, including a 9-0 advantage on the offensive boards.
But while the Huskies dominated down low, the Chips remained in the game thanks to the three ball. Central connected on 54 percent of its 3-pointers in the first half. Despite going scoreless for the first three minutes of the game, the Chippewas were able to tie the game at 23 with eight minutes remaining until halftime.
But as Central Michigan lived by the three, it also died by it. For the next five minutes the Chips couldn't find the basket. The Huskies took advantage with a 13-0 run, and were able to take a nine point lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Chips also came out ice cold to begin the second half, going scoreless for the first five minutes. Despite getting open looks in transition, Central Michigan couldn't find a way to put the ball in the basket.
With the Chippewas fading fast, their sophomore guard, Chris Fowler, did everything he could to keep them in the game. With Central trailing by 11 with 13 minutes remaining in the game, Fowler scored six straight Central Michigan points. But, defensively, the Chips simply couldn't keep up with Northern Illinois' front-court. Despite Fowler's outburst, the Huskies still led by 10.
The Chippewas would manage to cut the Huskies' lead to seven on a couple quick transition buckets. But Fowler (who finished with 18 points) would have to take a seat after committing his fourth foul, giving Northern Illinois the opportunity for a quick 4-0 run. Central Michigan head coach Keno Davis was then called for a technical after arguing a foul call with the officials. Two Travon Baker free throws later, and Northern Illinois held a 13 point lead and all the momentum.
The win was the Huskies' fourth in the last five games, the only loss being a 74-71 heartbreaker to Western Michigan last week. It also give NIU its best since since 2005-2006 when it finished 17-11. The Huskies travel to Akron for their final divisional crossover game of the season this Saturday.
Central Michigan will travel to Kent State to take on the Flashes on Saturday.