For the second straight meeting Northern Illinois gave the Western Michigan basketball team fits as…
NIU at WMU Post Game Quotes
"Ben Reed won this basketball game for the Broncos. When you look at why he went 4 for 6 on free throws, 7 of 14 three-pointers, he scored 27 points and most importantly no fouls. You can see why he's probably the top player in the league right now. He brings size, he brings athleticism, he brings competitiveness and he's a terrific three-point shooter. We doubled him, we switched on him, he still scored 27 points."
"Our team played really hard. I love the fact that we had 17 assists on out 23 baskets. Clearly the difference in the game was that Western shot 17 free throws and we only shot 4."
"I enjoyed coaching our kids tonight, they played with a lot of heart against a very good team on a terrific home court. We shot a lot of threes and our game plan was to drive and kick the ball out and I thought when we drove the ball to the basket we needed to draw more fouls."
"They [Northern Illinois] don't back down, they're a tough bunch. They played really well together."
"Our focus to start the game was to get the ball inside and they started to concentrate a little bit more on that and left open shots for our shooters."
"We played really well down the stretch. In the last media timeout we really wanted to put the stamp down on our defensive side of the ball so we really focused on our defense the last four minutes and forced them into a lot of tough shots. There was a stretch there in the second half where they were hitting a lot of the shots and got the lead but we really focus on our defense."
"You have to have a ton of confidence playing on the home floor in the MAC. Home wins are very important; if you lose one on your home floor it's like giving one back to the whole league. We feel really confident here, the atmosphere is great for us."
"Coach Bates talked to me yesterday about making sure I keep getting rebounds because that is an area where I can really help out this team. I should try to make a conscious effort of trying to go and get the ball instead of waiting for the ball to come to me."
"I give a lot for credit to my teammates tonight for getting me the ball in tough situations. A lot of my teammates were screening for me and without a good point guard I wouldn't have been open for the shots."
"I've been double teamed before so it wasn't anything new; I just think they were giving me a lot of respect."
"I don't think we came out with a lot of energy tonight. I think we pressured the ball pretty good but they got some open looks and they crashed the offensive glass hard. We have to give them a lot of credit because they're a pretty good basketball team regardless of what their record is right now. They play hard and they play every possession."
WMU coach Steve Hawkins:
"They're [NIU] a good team and if you watch them and look at their scores they have a lot of scores just like this [67-60]. If you watch them on film you can see why. I actually feel awful for them because they are not that far away from getting over the hump in these games. I'm just glad it didn't happen tonight."
Joe Reitz double double (14 rebounds, 10 points) "was huge. If there was one thing we were really disappointed in the last time we played them it was that they had 16 offensive rebounds. We go into half time [tonight] and they have 8 offensive rebounds and they're on track to get 16 again. We really did a better job and only allowed 3 offensive rebounds in the second half and that ended up being the difference really in the game. Joe was a big part of that."
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