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Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ Northern Illinois

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The pumpkin pushers are back in action inside Hilton

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 16 Big 12 Conference Championship - Iowa State v Kansas Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The weather outside is cold, but the Cyclones are looking to get hot at home after dropping a close one to a talented Oregon State last Saturday. Tonight’s opponent is the Northern Illinois Fighting Jake Andersons Abdel Naders Huskies, so let’s take a look at the tale of the tape.

Last Time Out

Iowa State dropped their road trip to Corvallis by a score of 80-74. Rasir Bolton led scoring with 16 points, but did so on an inefficient 6-of-15 shooting from the field. Prentiss Nixon and Michael Jacobson both struggled from the field as well, going a combined 6-of-22 from the field. Outside of Tyrese Haliburton’s typically solid play, George Conditt was the lone bright spot for Iowa State, finishing with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 blocks.

Iowa State could not slow down Tres Tinkle who had 27 points and 11 rebounds. He also hit a pair of threes down the stretch to take control of the game after being relatively quiet for most of the second half.

About Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois is coming off a 17-win season as the Huskies advanced to the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2003. They have played one this season, dropping their first game to Northern Iowa, 64-54.

KenPom has Northern Illinois ranked as the 157th team in the entire country. The Huskies boast a below average offense and defense coupled with an effective field goal percentage that is one of the worst in the entire country. Not ideal.

Iowa State leads the all-time series against Northern Illinois, 5-2, with the home team winning all seven meetings. The most recent meeting between the Huskies and Cyclones was a 94-80 Iowa State victory on Dec. 4, 2017.

Opponent Player To Watch

Eugene German is the man to watch in this one. The senior guard is the leader and leading scorer for the Huskies. German scored 21 points against Northern Iowa, and his season high in 2018-2019 was 33 points. His scoring will present another opportunity for the Cyclone defense to get a different type of look. German shot 41% from deep a season ago, so they’ll need to keep him in check.

What Will Happen

KenPom has this listed as a 78-64 win for the Cyclones. While the Huskies are an average team, and these Cyclones are still trying to find out what type of team they are going to be, I see this being a wider margin. I don’t think Northern Illinois is going to shoot well enough against a decent Cyclone defense. While the Cyclones don't shoot the ball at a particularly high clip at the moment, the ability to run in transition off turnovers will create the margin for Iowa State. Look for Tyrese Haliburton to flirt with a triple double and Michael Jacobson to lead the scoring effort once again.

Iowa State- 86

Northern Illinois- 62

Pick Three

1- George Conditt blocks five shots

2- Caleb Grill gets big minutes

3- We continue to boast about Xavier Foster

Game Notes

The Matchup: Iowa State (1-1, 0-0 Big 12) vs. Northern Illinois (0-1, 0-0 MAC)

Where: Ames, Iowa - Hilton Coliseum (14,384)

When: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m. (CST)

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/TuneIn Radio Talent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst)

TV: Cyclones.tv Talent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst)

Webcast: Cyclones.tv

Sirius/XM/Internet: NA/375/375 (internet)

Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com