Northern Illinois breaks own record for futility, scores four points in first half vs. Eastern Michigan
Well, at the least the Northern Illinois football team enjoyed a fantastic season.
Because coach Mark Montgomery’s squad is not having an easy go of things in Year 2 of the former Michigan State assistant’s tenure. Things went from bad to worse when the Huskies broke their own record for futility in Saturday night’s 45-25 blowout loss to Eastern Michigan.
After setting a shot clock-era record low with a mere five points scored against Dayton on Dec. 1, again could not find the rim facing the Eagles. According to CBS Sports, Northern Illinois scored only four points in the first half, making one of its 31 shot attempts. The 3.2-percent shooting rate is also a new record low, as is the 13.1-percent shooting percentage the team put up for the game.
Interestingly, Abdel Bader hit one of the first shots of the game, putting his Huskies up 2-0. However, only two more free throws were hit over the rest of the half as the team missed its next 29 shot attempts.
“Our guys played hard,” Huskies coach Mark Montgomery said. “Unfortunately, we just couldn’t make a shot. We just needed someone to make a basket to get our team going, but I wouldn’t say that we were taking bad shots. We had makeable, open shots, they just wouldn’t go in, but our guys kept defending, kept playing hard.”
Sometimes there is only so much analysis a coach can give until the obvious answer is the only one that works.
Savannah State, back in 2008, shot 4.3-percent in the first half against Kansas State, in a game where they also made just one field goal in the opening salvo.
In 2001, Miami of Ohio shot 13.3-percent over an entire game against Dayton in what had been the record low prior to Saturday night.
Not all was bad news for DaKalb’s finest on the evening, however. With just over two minutes remaining in the game, reserve Daveon Balls hit a three-pointer to give the Huskies 22 points in the game. The record low of 20, set by Saint Lewis in 2008, thus still stands.
“It becomes contagious, both making shots and missing shots,” Montgomery said. “At 18-4, if we come out and make a couple of baskets we would have been right back in it … but it just didn’t happen.”
If the worst thing to happen to you on Saturday night was not getting a girl’s phone number, just think about NIU’s Saturday — and smile at your good fortune.