Up next for NIU men’s basketball

WHO: Ohio (12-4, 2-1 MAC) at Northern Illinois (7-8, 1-2 MAC)

WHEN: 7 p.m. today, NIU Convocation Center

RADIO: AM-1360 WLBK, FM 98.9

LAST MEETING: Ohio defeated NIU, 81-63, on Jan. 16, 2013

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS: After starting off conference play at 1-2, the Huskies get one of the premier programs in the MAC in Ohio, whom NIU hasn’t beaten since 2007.

Junior forward Maurice Ndour leads the Bobcats in points (15.3) and rebounds (7.2) a game. Senior guard Nick Kellogg averages 14.6 points a game for Ohio.

Two of the Bobcats’ four losses have came against Top 25 teams: Ohio State and UMass.

OUTLOOK: NIU had a chance to go over .500 for the first time in the Mark Montgomery era against Kent State on Wednesday, but the Huskies blew a second-half lead and suffered a 73-64 loss in overtime.

NIU did get a nice spark from Aaron Armstead, who recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Armstead’s brother Aaric has also stepped up the past four games while replacing the injured Dontel Highsmith, averaging nine points a game over that span.

Saturday’s contest will be the Huskies’ fourth straight against the MAC West. They begin division play Wednesday at Toledo.

– Steve Nitz

snitz@shawmedia.com