NIU men's hoops prepares for Cleveland, second round of tourney

MAC tournament second-round preview: NIU vs. Eastern Michigan

WHEN: 8 p.m. today, Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, second round of the Mid-American Conference tournament

TV: ESPN3

RADIO: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM

LAST MEETING: NIU lost to Eastern Michigan, 56-52, on the road.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES: Da’Shonte Riley was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 2.8 blocks a game this season.

Karrington Ward leads the team at 12.7 points a game while Raven Lee and Mike Talley each average 10.5.

The Eagles rely on a 2-3 zone defense that has forced opponents into shooting only 36 percent from the field.

OUTLOOK: NIU split the season series with Eastern Michigan, with each team winning at home.

The Huskies will again lean heavily on Jordan Threloff and Darrell Bowie, who are both averaging in double figures over their past 10 contests. NIU managed only 54 points against Bowling Green and another low-scoring affair is expected against Eastern Michigan.

- Ross Jacobson, rjacobson@shawmedia.com