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Northern Illinois wins home opener, defeating Judson of Illinois 72-54

Sam Mader and Akeem Springs scored 16 points apiece and Northern Illinois won its home opener, defeating Judson of Illinois 72-54 on Sunday.

Kevin Gray had 10 points and eight rebounds to lead the Huskies (1-2), who dropped road games at Nebraska-Omaha and Valparaiso.

The Eagles (2-6), who play in NAIA Division II, jumped out to a 20-12 lead. NIU answered by running off 15 straight points and eventually led 39-32 at halftime.

Luke Pearson and Luke Labedzki led Judson with nine points — each of them hitting three 3-pointers.

It was the first meeting between the schools.