DEKALB, Illinois – The Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team will open the Mid-American Conference game on Tuesday, December 28, as the Huskies host Ball State at the NIU Convocation Center. Kick-off against the Cardinals is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be available on ESPN3. Tickets for Tuesday’s game can be purchased online anytime at NIUHuskies.com/MyHuskies.
NIU (3-7) will be back in action for the first time since a narrow 61-60 loss at UIC on December 19 in their last non-conference game. Keshawn williams (Chicago Heights, Ill./Tulsa) scored a career-high 25 points against the Flames as Anthony crump (Inkster, Michigan / Middle Tennessee) added a career-high 16 points in the contest.
Williams is averaging 18.4 points per game over the past five games, shooting 47.5% (38 of 80) from the field during that streak, Crump Crump is averaging 11.7 points per game in the in the last three games, shooting at 50% (14- du-28).
Entering the league, the Huskies are second in the MAC in three-point defense, allowing the opponent to shoot just 29% on three, and third in forced turnovers at 15.2 per game.
NIU will only make its second home appearance of the season, the Huskies defeating Eastern Illinois, 55-45, in the home opener on December 1.
Ball State comes to DeKalb with a 5-6 overall record after beating Eastern Illinois, 75-55, in their last non-conference game (Dec. 21). The Cardinals have a perfect 4-0 home record this season and are still chasing their first road win (0-4). Ball State is 1-2 in the neutral site contests. Two players score in double digits for Ball State, with Luke Bumbalough averaging 12.5 points per game, while shooting 40% out of three, and the NIU transfer Tyler cochran on average 10.7 points per competition.
This will mark the second consecutive season the Huskies and Cardinals have met in the league opener. Last season, Ball State claimed a 79-70 overtime victory in the conference curtain-raiser at DeKalb (December 8, 2020). Overall, NIU have won five of their last seven opening conference games.
Huskie Flex plans are now available for the 2021-22 basketball season. Buy vouchers of $ 6 each and use them throughout the season to catch the Huskie men’s and women’s basketball home games. Simply redeem your vouchers for tickets at the box office before the game. Tickets can be purchased online at NIUHuskies.com/MyHuskies or by calling the NIU Athletics Box Office at 815-753-PACK (7225).