Senior Eugene German converted a 4-point play with 10 seconds remaining as the Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team rallied to beat SIU Edwardsville, 68-64, on Saturday afternoon at First Community Arena.
Sophomore Darius Beane scored 13 points and senior Lacey James had 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds as the Huskies have won five-straight games for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
“It’s a great win, its keeps the momentum going and we talked about it before the game, just find a way,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “We just couldn’t shake them, you have to give them credit, they junked it up, they played some box-and-one, sometimes it was triangle-and-two. Even on the (four-point play), they had two guys on (Eugene German), but he made a play.”
With just over two minutes left, Beane tipped in a missed layup as the Huskies went in front by three, 61-58. SIU Edwardsville scored the next five as the Cougars took a two-point lead, 63-61, on a layup by Tyresse Williford with 24 seconds left.
On the next possession, German pulled up for three and drained the shot while being fouled, putting the Huskies up by one. The senior from Gary, Ind., made the free throw to give NIU a two-point lead.
After SIU Edwardsville split a pair of free throws, sophomore Trendon Hankerson converted twice from the line putting NIU up by three with four seconds left. A Cougar turnover gave the ball back to the Huskies and German split a pair of free throws to give NIU the four-point victory.
German finished with 23 points, Darius Beame scored 12 and Lacey James added 10 and nine rebounds. The Huskies (5-2) committed just 10 turnovers to 24 for SIU-E (2-4).
The Huskies look for their sixth straight win Monday at home against Oakland.