MAC foes will battle when the Ohio Bobcats (7-6, 0-1 MAC) go head-to-head against the Northern Illinois Huskies (8-6, 1-0 MAC) at Convocation Center. Action gets underway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Ohio Bobcats Free Preview
The last time the Huskies played, they defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes, 75-61. Levi Bradley was the top scorer from either team with 25 points on 5-for-10 shooting. Northern Illinois played a perfect game. They had an absurd free throw rate of 0.418 (above their season average of 0.248) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 45.5 (above their season average of 28.4). Kent State was 0.220 and 34.1, respectively, for those same stats.
The Bobcats are trying to rebound after their 75-50 loss to the Central Michigan Chippewas in their last matchup. Mike Laster led Ohio in scoring with 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting. Central Michigan’s turnover percentage was their biggest strength over Ohio. The Chippewas had a rate of 14.7 (better than their season average of 15.1), while the Bobcats posted a mark of 21.2 (above their season average of 14.4).
Ohio may have difficulty getting to the foul line in this meeting. The Bobcats currently rank 278th in the NCAA with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.206, while Northern Illinois ranks 50th in FTA rate allowed (0.185).
Teyvion Kirk has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Ohio, averaging 14.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.
This is the first time these teams will clash this year. The Bobcats won the only game played against each other last season, 78-69. Ohio made 10 of its 25 three pointers (40.0 percent). Northern Illinois, on the other hand, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (34.1 vs. 24.2).
Northern Illinois Huskies at Ohio Bobcats Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Ohio, ATS Winner – Ohio, O/U – Over
- The Huskies are eighth in the nation with 4.4 steals allowed per game while the Bobcats are 31st with 5.2 steals allowed per game.
- Ohio averages 2.7 blocks per game, which ranks 149th in the nation. Northern Illinois ranks 156th in blocks allowed per game (4.9).
- Ohio ranks 121st in three pointers attempted per game (22.8) while Northern Illinois ranks 268th (16.1).
- The Bobcats rank 63rd in rebounds per game (38.6) while the Huskies rank 177th in rebounds allowed per game (36.5).
- Ohio ranks 136th in assists per game (14.0) while Northern Illinois ranks 234th (11.3).
- The Bobcats average margin of victory in their last five games has been 0.6, down from 2.0 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Huskies have scored an average of 70.0 points per game (6.0 below their season average) and allowed an average of 71.2 points per game (1.5 below their season average).