Armstead's 17 are a career high and Bowie's 19 are his best output since back-to-back 19- and 23-point games in November.
Northern Illinois (11-12, 5-6 Mid-American) struggled with the Chippewas (8-15, 11-10) through much of the first half until Armstead and Daveon Balls combined for nine points in a little under 3 minutes, staking Northern Illinois to an 11-point lead just before intermission.
Central Michigan went scoreless for more than 4 minutes to open the second half, but Chris Fowler (19 points) got hot with a personal 9-2 run and then dished to Rayshawn Simmons as Central Michigan closed to 56-50. The Huskies sank 12-for-12 from the line in a 22-9 run that put the game away. They outrebounded Central Michigan 39-19.
The Chippewas fell to 2-9 on the road.