NIU men fall at Miami

After trailing by as much as 20, the Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team pulled within seven in the second half but was unable to complete the comeback as the Huskies fell to Miami, 70-58, on Saturday at Millett Hall.

Junior Trendon Hankerson scored a team-best 16 points while junior Chinedu Kingsley Okanu had a career-high 12 points.

 “It started with stops,” NIU interim head coach Lamar Chapman said of the Huskies’ run to close the gap. “Our offense came around a little bit, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. When we got it to seven or nine, we would have a turnover issue, we had a couple of bad possessions where we didn’t get a quality shot.

“Forty points (allowed) was too many in the first half, but we battled, we kept fighting, which I appreciate, but we need some of that earlier.”

NIU (1-9, 0-5 MAC) led by three in the early going, 6-3, with Hankerson scoring four early points, but Miami (4-3, 1-1) used a 13-2 run to take a 16-8 lead with 12:39 left in the opening half.

 A triple by Hankerson cut the Miami advantage to 52-45 with 8:33 left, but that is as close as the Huskies would get as Miami used a 12-3 spurt to push its advantage to 16 as the RedHawks went on to earn the victory.