(WSCR) – Nothern Illinois had a slow start facing Ball State. The Huskies were nine points behind at the half, but made a strong push to come back in the second. Their fight to win wasn’t strong enough, however.

Jarrod Jones grabbed a double-double, scoring 25 points and pulling down 12 rebounds as Ball State held off Northern Illinois 75-70 on Saturday.

The Cardinals (9-4, 1-0 Mid-American) went ahead early in the first half and never trailed after that. They led 34-23 at halftime, which was their largest lead of the game.

The Huskies (4-9, 0-1) fought back and pulled within a point, 71-70, when Nate Rucker hit a free throw with 16 seconds left.

But Jones and Randy Davis each hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to clinch the win for Ball State.

Jauwan Scaife added 17 and Chris Bond scored 10 for the Cardinals.

Tim Toler led the Huskies with 22 points as Xavier Silas scored 15, Jeremy Landers 13 and Nate Rucker 10.

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