DEKALB, Ill. - The state of Illinois hasnâ€™t been friendly to the CCSU menâ€™s basketball team.
After a loss to DePaul on Wednesday, the Blue Devils were trailing Northern Illinois by 11 points at the conclusion of the first half.
It was test time for the CCSU, who entered its road trip knowing it would be challenged after winning five straight games.
The Blue Devils made a push in the second half but the comeback fell just short Saturday afternoon as they went onto lose their second straight game 61-55.
CCSUâ€™s Tyler Kohl led all scorers with 20 points and added a game-high nine rebounds, narrowly missing his first double-double of the season.
He scored the first nine points of the second half and the Huskies struggled on the offensive end of the floor, not scoring a basket for over three minutes into the final half of play.
Teammate Deion Bute added 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field. He also contributed seven rebounds.
Blue Devils freshman Kashaun Hicks had an impact in the game with a career-high 11 points with a trio of 3 pointers that helped spark the second-half comeback attempt with back-to-back 3-point baskets that brought the score to 46-41 with just under 11 minutes to play in the game.
Following a Northern Illinois layup, Hicks again hit a 3 to bring CCSU within four points at the midway mark of the second half.
Down three points with under a minute to play, the Blue Devils had the ball but turned it over with 32 seconds remaining and Northern Illinois made sure to hit its free throws to come away with the win.
CCSU was 21-for-53 from the field and 5-for-17 from behind the 3-point line.
On the boards, the Blue Devils outrebounded the Huskies 37-28.
Eugene German led Northern Illinois with 19 points.
The loss drops CCSU to 5-5 on the season and it wonâ€™t get easier as the Blue Devils will travel to face Boston College, a team that just upset No. 1 ranked Duke.
That game will be played on Dec. 17.
Dan Orencole can be reached atÂ 860-973-1811 orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan