Northern Illinois (5-18, 3-8 Mid-American Conference) at Western Michigan (15-9, 7-4 MAC)
5 p.m. today
University Arena, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Western Michigan defeated NIU, 71-34, on Jan. 19
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS
Western Michigan was on a seven-game winning streak before back-to-back road losses against Ball State and Bowling Green. The Broncos are 8-1 at home and tied with Toledo at the top of the MAC West at 7-4. Western Michigan features four players in double figures: Shayne Whittington (12.7 points per game), Nate Hutcheson (11.3 ppg), Darius Paul (10.5 ppg) and David Brown (10.5 ppg).
NIU had a rough time against Western Michigan when the Broncos visited DeKalb about a month ago as the Huskies shot only 20 percent in the 71-34 loss. To get a road win, NIU will need more production from its two leading scorers, Abdel Nader and Aksel Bolin. The two combined for only eight points in Wednesday’s 56-52 loss to Ball State. NIU hasn’t won at Western Michigan since 2006.
– Steve Nitz,firstname.lastname@example.org