The Zips enter with a 13-3 overall record and they’ve won each of their first three conference games. Meanwhile, Northern Illinois has crept back above the 500-mark after winning two of its first three MAC contests. Can Akron stay undefeated on the road against the Huskies on Tuesday night?
Huskies making a habit out of playing close gamesNorthern Illinois got back on the winning track over the weekend, knocking off Eastern Michigan 71-68 behind 17 points from Eugene German. Noah McCarty chipped in 14 points for the Huskies, who have made a habit of playing close games as of late. Their last four games have been decided by three points or less.
🎥 Some highlights from today's victory over Eastern Michigan. pic.twitter.com/jOqo33FC0N— NIU Men's Basketball (@GoHuskiesMBB) January 12, 2020
Mark Montgomery’s squad enters the week ranked No. 180 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 2-1 start to the conference season. Northern Illinois has made strides on both ends of the floor through its first three MAC contests to help them creep back over the .500-mark. The Huskies have scored 97.1 points per 100 possessions for the season (241st in the NCAA) but that number has increased to a respectable 100.0 points per 100 possessions (8th in the MAC) through three MAC contests. Northern Illinois has struggled from the field this season, shooting just 45.8 percent from 2-point range (286th in the NCAA) and just 7.1 percent from the free-throw line as a team (266th in the NCAA).
On defense, the Huskies have surrendered 98.0 points per 100 possessions (123rd in the NCAA) and they rank fourth in the MAC with a defensive rating of 98.5. They rank second in the MAC, holding opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 45.1 percent. They have also limited MAC opponents to just 25.0 percent shooting from 3-point range (1st in the MAC).
Zips cruise to win vs. Ball StateAkron cruised to its fourth straight win over the weekend, taking down Ball State at home 75-60 on Friday night. Xeyrius Williams scored a team-high 23 points and hauled in 12 rebounds while Loren Christian Jackson chipped in 19 points and handed out eight dimes to help the Zips overcome an early 10-point deficit.
John Groce’s third season in Akron is off to a strong start and the Zips enter the weekend slotted at No. 71 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning 9 of their previous 10 games. Akron has scored 105.3 points per 100 possessions (74th in the NCAA) and they sport an effective field goal percentage of 51.4 percent (88th in the NCAA). Groce has given his squad the green light from long-range and they’ve responded by shooting a healthy 43.4 percent of their total attempts from 3-point range (48th in the NCAA) while hitting a blistering 38.0 percent of their 3-point attempts (20th in the NCAA).
On defense, the Zips have limited opponents to just 94.9 points per 100 possessions (79th in the NCAA) and an effective field goal percentage of 44.5 percent (34th in the NCAA). Akron has held its opponents to just 44.5 percent shooting from 2-point range and 29.6 percent from behind the 3-point arc (51st in the NCAA).
- Zips are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
- Zips are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Zips are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight-up win.
- Huskies are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Huskies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.