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UC Davis at Northern Illinois
When and Where: Wednesday, Dec. 5, NIU Convocation Center, DeKalb, Ill., 8 p.m. EST.
No stranger to the state of Illinois, Jim Davis brings his UC Davis team to the midwest for the second time this season as the Aggies face Northern Illinois on Wednesday night.
Aggies cut down NAU Lumberjacks with barrage of 3s
UC Davis (2-6) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 73-57 victory over Northern Arizona last Thursday, matching a season-high with 10 3-pointers.
TJ Shorts II went 4 for 8 from beyond the arc and finished with 21 points, but the proficiency inside the arc also keyed the Aggies’ victory. They made 19 of 29 two-point shots as freshman Caleb Fuller scored 13 points and Siler Schneider added 12.
Aggies WIN! Check out highlights from tonight’s victory against Northern Arizona. pic.twitter.com/Pz68HqZYPC
— UC Davis Athletics (@UCDavisAggies) November 30, 2018
It was UC Davis’ first game since a 76-62 loss at Indiana on Nov. 23 in which the Aggies led with eight minutes to play before fading down the stretch.
“Indiana, despite the result, was a positive step for us, as was tonight. But sandwiched between those two games were three really good practices,” Les told the school’s official website. “I’m old school in the fact that this team’s success will start on the practice floor. The intensity, communication and execution was ramped up.”
Les, who grew up in Niles, Illinois, also played collegiately at Bradley in Peoria and coached there from 2002-11 before taking over at UC Davis. It is also a homecoming for guard Joe Mooney, a Wauconda native who is averaging 7.5 points.
Shorts and Schnieder are UC Davis’ top two scorers at 12.9 and 10.4 points per game, respectively. The Aggies are hoping the win over Northern Arizona leads to more good shooting — they are connecting at just 28.6 percent from 3-point range and 38.3 percent overall while averaging 57.9 points.
UC Davis has lost six straight non-conference road games since upending Washington State 81-67 on Dec. 2, 2017.
Huskies seek first home win over D-I opponent
Northern Illinois (4-3) has played only three home games, but the only one that mattered was an 88-85 double overtime loss to Northern Kentucky sandwiched by victories over non-Division I teams.
The Huskies recently split a pair of road games against Horizon League opponents, routing Oakland before losing 85-83 at Wisconsin-Green Bay last Wednesday. Eugene German scored a career-high 33 points as Northern Illinois launched a furious rally in the final six minutes from 16 down before falling short.
— NIU Men's Basketball (@GoHuskiesMBB) November 29, 2018
The Huskies shot 56.1 percent but committed 16 turnovers that led to 28 points for the Phoenix and contributed to their 55.0 shooting percentage.
“I said coming into the game that turnovers were going to be important,” NIU head coach Mike Montgomery told the school’s official website. “(Green Bay) is going to try to speed you up and we were short on bodies. … But we shot the ball good enough, we played good enough offense, but on defense we had to go to the zone. It got us back into the game, but it just isn’t our forte and we came up a little short.”
Northern Illinois enters this game sixth in the country in shooting at 52.1 percent and is connecting at a 57.6 percent clip over the last three contests. The Huskies have made 24 of 52 from 3-point range in that stretch and averaging 83.9 points.
German, who was suspended the first two games of the season following his plea in a battery charge, has averaged 23.4 points while shooting 54.4 percent overall and 47.1 percent (16 for 34) from 3-point range. Levi Bradley is contributing 17.9 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game while Dante Thorpe (12.3 ppg) and Lacey James (10.1) are also in double figures.
Northern Illinois is:
- 8-3 ATS in its last 11 home games.
- 4-1 ATS in its last five games as a home favorite.
- 5-2 ATS in its last seven games following a straight up loss.
- The over is 5-0 in its last five games.
- The over is 6-2 in its last eight games following an ATS loss.
- The over is 5-2 in its last seven games vs. Big West teams.
UC Davis is:
- 2-6 ATS in its last eight road games.
- 2-6 ATS in its last eight non-conference games.
- 1-4 ATS in its last five games vs. above-.500 teams.
- The over is 11-5 in its last 16 road games.
- The over is 9-4 in its last 13 games following an ATS win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Despite the loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay, Northern Illinois seems to be on its way, especially on the offensive end. The Huskies are actually shooting better from 3-point range (40.8) against Division I opponents than overall (35.8) on the season, and UC Davis has had its struggles on the perimeter defensively.
Prediction: Pick: Northern Illinois -9
Full-Game Total Pick
The Huskies are one of the most efficient offensive teams in the nation per KenPom, averaging 110.0 points per 100 possessions while owning a 58.1 percent effective field goal percentage that ranks eighth among Division I teams. UC Davis is not only a turnover-prone team but also mediocre defensively, and that should contribute to Northern Illinois both covering and delivering the over.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 134 points
Half-Time Side Pick
The only time UC Davis has led after 20 minutes thus far came in its last game against Northern Arizona, though it has hung around in most contests. The Huskies have lead at intermission in all three of their home games and in five of seven overall.
Prediction: Pick: Northern Illinois -4.5
Half-Time Total Bet
The expectation is Northern Illinois will be able to impose its offense on the Aggies in this game. While the pace will be slower than their last two road games, the Huskies have reached at least 76 in the first halves of their previous four games.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 63 points