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2018 MAC Basketball Preview: Northern Illinois Huskies at Akron Zips

The Huskies head to Ohio for a Saturday night match-up with the Zips

Akron v VCU

The Akron Zips (8-9) and the Northern Illinois Huskies (9-9) will do battle this Saturday afternoon as both teams look to right their ships and better their conference records.

Akron has lost seven of their last nine games, including starting a miserable 1-4 in MAC play, while the Huskies have dropped four of six and are just 2-3 in the MAC so far.

Game Details

  • When: Saturday, Jan. 20th, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. CST)
  • Where: James A. Rhodes Arena - Akron, Ohio
  • Watch: ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app

Players to Watch

Dante Thorpe, G, NIU - Thorpe is NIU’s third leading scorer, averaging just under 12 points per game. After a couple sub-par performances, he bounced back against Buffalo on Tuesday night, posting 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists.

Eugene German, G, NIU - It wouldn’t be a Huskie preview if we didn’t talk about German, the MAC’s leading scorer and the main source of offense for NIU. German is dropping an average of 19.7 points per game and has been in double-digits every contest this season.

Jimond Ivey, G, Akron - Ivey’s 12.8 points per game is third best for the Zips but he doesn’t just score. He also shares the ball and can rebound. His 3.9 assists leads Akron and his 5.8 rebounds per game is good enough for second on the team.

Daniel Utomi, F, Akron - Speaking of rebounding and scoring Daniel Utomi - Akron’s leading scorer and rebounder. He averages 6.1 boards per game and 15.5 points per game. And, although he has struggled vastly the past three games - shooting just 12.5% (3/24) and dropping a total of 11 points - look for him to bounce back against NIU.


The Huskies will be able to keep it close for a while with German, Thorpe, and Levi Bradley contributing most of NIU’s offense. But a late, slump-busting, surge from Utomi will lead the Zips past the Huskies. Look for Akron to get back to .500 despite a tough effort from NIU.

NIU Huskies - 67
Ajron Zips - 76