CLEVELAND (AP) -- Giordan Watson scored 20 points and Robbie Harman added 16 to lead Central Michigan past Northern Illinois 83-71 in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference tournament on Wednesday.
Watson hit 5-of-7 3-pointers and Harman made 4-of-6 beyond the arc as the sixth-seeded Chippewas (14-16) hit 12-of-23 3-pointers overall and never trailed.
The Chippewas led by 10 points at halftime and built the lead to 22 before Northern Illinois rallied to cut the lead to 77-68 with 1:05 to play. But Central Michigan made 6-of-6 free throws in the final minute.
Darion Anderson, the conference's Freshman of the Year, led the 11th-seeded Huskies (6-22) with 22 points.
The Chippewas shot 53 percent for the game, 27-of-51, to 42 percent, 25-of-60, for Northern Illinois.
Central Michigan will play third-seeded Akron on Thursday in the quarterfinals.