Northern Illinois (6-7) at Bowling Green (6-8)
GAME NOTES: The Bowling Green Falcons will attempt to stop a three-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon, as they face the Northern Illinois Huskies in a Mid-American Conference clash at the Stroh Center.
Northern Illinois played it MAC opener at Buffalo on Thursday, and came up short in a 67-46 decision. The Huskies had won three of their previous four games before the loss, and are still hovering around the .500 mark overall (6-7). They will play their first conference home game on Wednesday against Kent State.
Although playing at home, Bowling Green lost its conference opener to Eastern Michigan earlier in the week (56-51). The Falcons' current slide has been a difficult one to endure, as the three losses have come by a combined 13 points. Up next, they will entertain the Chippewas of Central Michigan.
When these two teams last met, Bowling Green earned a 57-41 victory, part of a season sweep a year ago. The Falcons have won seven straight against Northern Illinois and lead the all-time series, 57-41.
In their recent loss to Buffalo, the Huskies turned the ball over 19 times and connected on just 27.3 percent of their shots from the floor. Darrell Bowie netted 13 points and collected nine rebounds, but no other player scored more than seven points.
Production at the offensive end has been a struggle all season long for the Huskies, who rank last in the MAC in scoring (64.4 ppg), assists (8.9 apg) and field goal percentage (.392). They have played well enough on defense, holding foes to 66.2 ppg and 41.5 percent efficiency. Bowie (9.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) is the best hope the Huskies have at the moment, especially since Dontel Highsmith underwent knee surgery earlier. Jordan Threloff (76 ppg, 5.2 rpg) is the next best option, and Travon Baker (7.3 ppg, 2.5 apg) handles the point. Baker had only five points on 1-of-5 shooting against the Bulls.
Richaun Holmes scored a game-high 17 points, but it wasn't enough for Bowling Green as it fell to Eastern Michigan. The Falcons only shot 30.8 percent from the floor, while being outscored 21-16 at the free-throw line.
Bowling Green can commiserate with Northern Illinois when it comes to offensive performance. The Falcons are the second-worst scoring team in the league (64.9 ppg), although they do shoot 43.7 percent from the field. They are similar to the Huskies on defense as well, letting up just 64.3 ppg and a 40.6 percent success rate on field goal attempts to the opposition. Holmes (14.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is the leading scorer as well as the team's top performer on the boards. The 6-foot-8 forward is also a force on defense, as he is tied for second in the MAC in blocks (3.0 bpg). Spencer Parker (12.8 ppg), Jehvon Clarke (11.9 ppg, 4.4 apg) and Anthony Henderson (10.6 ppg) also get into the mix, but the Falcons receive very little from their reserves.
With the two worst offensive teams in the MAC squaring off, this is shaping up to be a low-scoring affair. Holmes is the top scorer on either team, and his presence will lead the Falcons to a win on their home court.
GAME NOTES: The Bowling Green Falcons will attempt to stop a three-game losing
streak on Sunday afternoon, as they face the Northern Illinois Huskies in a
Mid-American Conference clash at the Stroh Center.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stroh Center (4,280) -- Bowling Green, Ohio.
Television: None. Home Record: NIU 4-3, BGSU 4-3. Away Record: NIU 2-4, BGSU
1-4. Neutral Record: NIU 0-0, BGSU 1-1. Conference Record: NIU 0-1, BGSU 0-1.
Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 57-41.Game Date and Time
Sunday, January 12, 4:30 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Bowling Green 68, Northern Illinois 61