Northern Illinois Huskies vs. DePaul Blue Demons
The Northern Illinois Huskies look for win number one when they host the DePaul Blue Demons. The Blue Demons look for their third straight win with a 102-95 victory over Chicago State Saturday while the Huskies dropped a 72-65 decision to Illinois-Chicago. The Blue Demons are -11 point favorites over the Huskies with an over/under point total set at 144.
There are two things that jump off the page when looking at the numbers DePaul has built up and their ability to score the basketball has been impressive. However, opponents have also been racking up the points which won’t do the Blue Demons any favors down the road. These trends were true to form versus Chicago State with the Blue Demons connecting at 46.1% from the field while the Cougars nailed shots at a 50.7% pace. There were two categories that favored the Blue Demons and put this game in the win column and one was prolific three point shooting with the Blue Demons knocking down 14 of 31 attempts. The second was 21 Chicago State turnovers although the Cougars held a 49-38 advantage on the backboards. Cleveland Melvin led four DD scorers with 30 points and eight rebounds with Brandon Young adding 19 points, five pulls and seven assists. Jeremiah Kelly tossed in 19 points with five pulls while Jamee Crockett chipped in with eleven points and another five boards as the starting five were unstoppable.
It’s easy to sum up the Northern Illinois season as this team has simply been dreadful at both ends of the floor. The Huskies hit less than 36% from the floor and score 54 points while allowing over 72 points so it’s no surprise this team hasn’t won a game. The good news versus Illinois-Chicago last time out was the NIU defense played one of their better games by allowing the Flames to make just 38.8% from the field but still didn’t make shots at only 36.4%. UIC did hit 8 of 18 long balls and pulled down 18 offensive rebounds and turned 25 Northern Illinois fouls in to 16 makes at the charity stripe which was enough of an edge to seal up a win. Antone Christian and Keith Gray each scored eleven points to lead the Huskies but shot a combined 6 of 15 but NIU didn’t have a go to scorer with three others tossing in between 6-8 points.
I don’t see anything that makes me believe Northern Illinois will win more than a handful of games because their offense shows no sign of improving although the defense has looked decent lately. DePaul is undeniably better but has either fallen behind and forced to make comebacks or taken big leads and struggled to hold on. I have to say I don’t like either team with the Huskies only edge being this is a home game.
Northern Illinois Huskies +11 DePaul Blue Demons