DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Travon Baker scored 18 points, including eight in a row in a key stretch late, and seventh-seeded Northern Illinois beat No. 10 seed Western Michigan 56-50 in a Mid-American Conference tournament first round matchup on Monday night.
The Huskies (21-11) will play second-seeded Ohio (20-10) in the quarterfinals Thursday. The teams split two games in the regular season.
A close game throughout, a 3-point play by Western Michigan's Tucker Haymond tied it at 42 with 5:35 to go. Baker drilled 3-pointers on the next two possessions, and then hit a pair of free throws, and the Huskies didn't trail again.
Western Michigan got within two points twice late, but Northern Illinois made 7 of 8 free throws in the last 33 seconds.
Levi Bradley had 13 points with a career-high 12 rebounds and Aaric Armstead scored 12 for NIU.
Haymond led Western Michigan (13-19) with 17 points. The Broncos were just 2 of 12 from beyond the arc.