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Silas’ 40 just enough as NIU tops UIC

Xavier Silas scored 40 points, including 22 free throws, and Northern Illinois held on to beat UIC 80-78 in a nonconference game Tuesday night in DeKalb, Ill.

Silas’ effort was enough to turn back a balanced attack from the Flames, who got double-figures scoring from all five starters.

Silas was 8-for-18 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, and 22-for-24 from the free-throw line for the Huskies (3-4), playing for the first time in 12 days after a break for final exams.

Silas scored 28 points in the second half, including Northern Illinois’ last seven points from the foul line. UIC made it close on Corey Gray’s three-pointer with two seconds to play for the final margin.

No other Northern Illinois player finished in double figures. Guard Tony Nixon, with eight points in 23 minutes off the bench, was NIU’s second-leading scorer.

The Flames (4-7) jumped to a 15-2 lead and were ahead 33-29 at halftime. Silas had 12 points in the first half on 1-for-8 shooting and was 10-for-10 at the line.

Darrin Williams led UIC with 16 points. Paul Carter and Robo Kreps scored 14 points apiece, Zavion Neely added 12 points and Paris Carter had 10.

Chicago State 89Trinity 69

Antonio Lofton’s 23 points paced the Cougars (3-9) to a home romp over the Trojans (7-8).

Lofton made 7 of 8 shots from the field and all nine of his free throws for the Cougars (3-9), who broke a five-game losing streak. He also had a team-best eight rebounds.

Carl Montgomery scored 15 points, and Hajji Martin added 13.

Patrick Atkins led the NAIA Trojans with 16 points and eight rebounds. Ignas Verbus scored 13 points and had seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Chicago State outrebounded Trinity 55-38 and had 54 points in the paint to the Trojans’ 18.

The Cougars shot 46.9 percent (33-for-71) while holding the Trojans to 31.3 percent (20-for-64).

Neither team shot well from three-point range. Trinity went 7-for-29, and Chicago State was 3-for-14.

The Cougars led 44-34 at halftime.


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