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Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Rapid Reaction: WMU 77, NIU 65

By Scott Powers

DEKALB, Ill. – Here’s a quick look at Western Michigan's 77-65 win over Northern Illinois on Tuesday.

How the game was lost: It was a night Northern Illinois senior guard Xavier Silas will want to forget. After entering the game as the nation’s No. 2 scorer at 24.2 points per game, Silas was held to a season-low seven points. He shot 1 of 8 from the field in the opening half and finished 3 of 11. He also shot 1 of 4 from the free-throw line and fouled out with 6:01 left in the game. Without Silas’ production, Northern Illinois had no chance against Western Michigan. The Broncos led by double digits for nearly the entire second half.

Stat of the game: Western Michigan outrebounded Northern Illinois 46-32 overall and 15-8 on the offensive glass.

Turning point: With the game tied at 24-24 in the first half, Western Michigan went on a 12-0 run to pull away from the Huskies. Western Michigan’s Demetrius Ward scored 12 points in the half’s final 4:22.

Player of the game: Western Michigan point guard Mike Douglas had his best game of season. He nearly went for a triple double, scoring 16 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out seven assists. He added two steals.

Northern Illinois player of the game: Junior DeMarcus Grady gave the home crowd something to cheer about during the second half when he scored eight consecutive points. He scored all 10 of his points in the second half.

What the game means: Northern Illinois continued its struggles. It was the Huskies’ worst home conference loss of the season, and they fell to 7-17 overall and 3-9 in the MAC. There have been whispers that this could be Northern Illinois coach Ricardo Patton’s final season. Patton has one more season on his deal and would need to be bought out. The Huskies are 33-79 in Patton’s four seasons.