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NIU

NIU men's basketball preview: Huskies vs. Bowling Green

Tip-off: Saturday 3 p.m. Saturday at Bowling Green's Stroh Center.

Records: NIU, 9-8, 2-2 in Mid-American Conference; BG, 12-5, 3-1 in MAC.

All-time series: Bowling Green leads the all-time series 35-30. The Huskies lost twice to the Falcons a season ago, including a 71-67 loss in the MAC Tournament semifinal.

Who to watch: Dylan Frye's 3-point shooting passing abilities (4.5 assists per game) lends him the chance to break open a contest. The tenured senior is remarkably consistent, having scored in double-digits in 14 of 17 games this year, including over his last five games. Justin Turner may lay a claim to the best player in the MAC for the Falcons, but slowing down Frye's impact will go a long way for NIU. The Falcons have lost two of the three games Frye has scored in single-digits. Lacey James needs to be established early in the paint, as no Huskie starter other than Eugene German scored in the first half of NIU's loss to Akron.


The lowdown: The Huskies enter having posted their worst offensive showing of the season and started slow. A quick start against a Falcons team that has won three straight games is a necessity. The Falcons take care of the ball, tallying 223 assists to 180 turnovers this season, which as of Wednesday, stood as the 33rd best margin in the country out of 350 Division I teams.

Key to the game: At the risk of being oddly specific, the combination of Darius Beane, Nathan Scott and Trendon Hankerson need to combine for around 30 points at least to get NIU within late striking distance of BG. The Huskies also need to knock down a few early 3-point shots, something that did not happen as NIU shot 5 of 28 from deep against Akron.

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