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College basketball: Northern Illinois defeats Eastern Michigan

Tuesday, January 20, 2009  
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RRSTAR.com
Posted January 20, 2009 @ 11:52 p.m.
 
DEKALB —
Sophomore center Sean Kowal led Northern Illinois in scoring for the second straight game as the Huskies (6-10, 2-2 MAC) racked up a 42-26 advantage in the paint and cruised to a 72-52 win over visiting Eastern Michigan (3-15, 1-3) Tuesday night.
 
With the win, NIU equaled its entire win total from the 2007-08 campaign.
 
Four Huskies recorded double-digit efforts in scoring, led by Kowal’s 20 points. Darion Anderson poured in 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while Sean Smith and Ante Dzepina each scored 10 points. The Eagles were led by Brandon Bowdry’s 16 points.
 
The Huskies shot a season-best 62.8 percent (27-of-43) from the field, and held statistical advantages in rebounds (36-27), assists (16-5) and blocks (4-2). NIU was forced into 21 turnovers, but held the Eagles to just a 38 percent effort from the field.
 
NIU came out firing, jumping out to an 11-4 lead. Lee Fisher gave the Huskies their first double-digit (15-4) advantage of the half with 13:35 remaining, converting a conventional three-point play. The Huskies’ advantage reached a game-high 20 points (35-15) with 55 seconds remaining in the first half after back-to-back free throws by Dzepina.
 
Rockford 84, Marian 77
Rockford College won for the third time in its past four games, although this time a little more comfortably after pulling away from Marian for a 7-point road victory.
 
The Regents, led by Renell Taylor’s 28 points on 8-for-16 shooting, had four straight two-point games, three of which went Rockford’s way. This time, Rockford (9-7, 4-4 NAC) held its opponent to one point in the final 2:42 and kept its record above .500 with the win.
 
Taylor Stinson added 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting and Andrew Weber had 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.
 
DuPage 61, RVC 60
Rock Valley fell two seconds short of upsetting the No. 10-ranked team in NJCAA Division III, College of DuPage.
 
After opening the second half on an 11-0 run, the Golden Eagles led for most of the second half, and held a 60-58 advantage with 12 seconds to go. But they missed two free throws and failed to box out on DuPage’s final free throw — a miss that was tipped in with 2.1 seconds left on the clock — which cost them the win.
 
“We played well; it just wasn’t quite enough,” first-year head coach Chad Barger said. “At this point in the season, there are no moral victories. But we hung in there.”

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