Home Mens wear Huskies claim 80-57 show victory over Saint-François

Huskies claim 80-57 show victory over Saint-François


DeKALB, Illinois – Guards Kaleb thornton (Bolingbrook, Illinois / Bolingbrook HS), Keshawn williams (Chicago Heights, Ill./Bloom HS) and Trendon Hankerson (Novi, Michigan / Novi HS) scored in double digits and the University of Northern Illinois Huskies beat St. Francis (Illinois) by 22 points in the second half to claim an 80-57 victory over the Fighting Saints Saturday at the NIU Convocation. Center.

New NIU Head Coach Rashon Burno liked the look of his team in the second half after starting off slow.

“I expected us to be a little nervous and you could tell the guys were a little nervous,” Burno said. “In the second half we played our basketball style more, the ball came in a little more, played a little more aggressively and we performed much better in the second half than in the first half. time and we were able. I’m excited for the guys and happy for them. It feels good. “

NIU built a 13-5 lead in the first seven minutes of the game before St. Francis scored eight straight points on a pair of three-pointers, a layup and a quick break dunk by EJ Charles to take a lead 15-13. The teams traded baskets until a three-point shot from Hankerson put the Huskies back in the lead at 6:27 of the first half. Two free throws from Hankerson after a steal extended NIU’s lead to 26-20, and Thornton had a steal and layup on a quick break to extend the lead to seven at 29-22 with 3:22. to be done in half-time.

St. Francis came back to score the next seven points to force the fourth first half draw at 29-29 and led 30-29 on two free throws from Reihana Maxwell-Topiar before a Kingsley Okanu (Lynwood, Ill. / Bowman Academy) dunked on an assist from Hankerson gave the Huskies a 31-30 halftime lead.

NIU committed seven of its 11 turnovers in the first half while shooting a 40% clip (10 of 25), but was tied with USF on 17 rebounds. Hankerson scored eight points and Thornton scored seven in the first half.

The Huskies scored the first seven points of the second half – six by Thornton – and didn’t look back. After Okanu got an offensive rebound and suffered a foul on the out, his free throw gave NIU a 41-31 lead with 15:48 to go. Zool Kueth (Gallatin, Tenn./Gallatin/Pratt CC) had the first of his two three-pointers of the day to give NIU a 48-36 lead and extend the race to 17-6 to start the second half .

“In the second half we didn’t do anything schematically different, we just told these guys to trust each other and relax and play,” Burno said. “Our guards must orchestrate the offensive so that these guys [Thornton and Williams] did a phenomenal job in the second half getting us in and out of our offense and keeping the game at a good pace. I was harder on these guys before the second half, they made the adjustments and allowed us to continue. “

The USF closed the lead to nine points, 52-43, on a Darius Wright layup with 11:16 on the clock, the last time the Huskies held less than a double-digit margin. NIU responded with a 12-2 run to lead 64-45 with 7:46 remaining and gave the Saints another field goal within five minutes while taking a 75-47 lead.

Williams scored nine of his 14 points in the second half as the Huskies increased their shooting percentage to 56.7% (17 of 30) while keeping the USF at 7 of 24 shots from the field in the half. .

Hankerson added five assists and three steals at the head of the team, and took five rebounds, while Anthony crump led all players with nine rebounds. Ten different players scored for the Huskies with Kueth and Adong Makoui each scoring nine points.

NIU will not return to the Convocation Center until Tuesday, December 1, when the Huskies face Eastern Illinois. NIU opens the season on Tuesday, November 9 in Washington, and will also play Indiana, Missouri and Marquette in November, in addition to playing a pair of games at the Jacksonville Classic.

Season tickets for the 2021-22 men’s basketball season are on sale now at NIUHuskies.com/MyHuskies or by calling 815-753-PACK (7225).

– NIU –

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