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2018 MAC Basketball Preview: Eastern Michigan Eagles vs Northern Illinois Huskies

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Who survives this MAC West showdown...

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 10 Northern Illinois at Kent State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Eastern Michigan Eagles (10-6) head to DeKalb, Illinois to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies (8-8) Saturday afternoon. Both teams are tied in last place in the MAC West with a 1-2 record and will look to get to .500 in conference play.


Game Details

  • When: Saturday, Jan. 13th, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. (3:30 local time)
  • Where: Convocation Center - DeKalb, Illinois
  • Watch: ESPN3, WatchESPN app

Players to Watch

Eugene German, G, NIU - German is the MAC’s leading scorer, averaging 19.5 points per game. He’s dropped double digits in points every game this year and is the Huskies main offensive threat.

Dante Thorpe, G, NIU - Thorpe, who leads the Huskies in shooting percentage at 58.6%, struggled last game against BGSU (shooting just 3-9 from the field). But look for him to bounce back here. He had scored 10+ points in the previous six contests he played in and will be looking to get back to that mark.

James Thompson IV, F, EMU - Thompson is the only player in the MAC averaging a double-double on the season (15.8 points and 11.7 rebounds per game). He’s also got the best field goal percentage in the MAC, shooting 67.1%. Look for him to contribute on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

Elijah Minnie, F, EMU - Minnie continued his hot streak last game, dropping 25 on CMU. He leads the Eagles with 17.5 points per game and has scored 20+ points in EIGHT games this season.


Prediction

Minnie and Thompson keep the Eagles close for the first 35 minutes but a few late three-pointers from NIU’s Thorpe and Justin Thomas, plus some clutch free-throws, pull the Huskies away late for the win.

EMU Eagles - 67
NIU Huskies - 71