Xavier Silas' 40 points power NIU past Illinois-Chicago

DE KALB, Ill. -- Xavier Silas scored 40 points Tuesday night and Northern Illinois held on to beat Illinois-Chicago 80-78.

Silas was 8 of 18 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, and 22 of 24 from the free-throw line for the Huskies (3-4), playing for the first time in 12 days. Silas scored 28 points in the second half, including Northern Illinois' last seven points from the foul line. Illinois-Chicago made it close on Corey Gray's 3-pointer with 2 seconds to play for the final margin.

No other Northern Illinois player finished in double figures.

The Flames (4-7) jumped to a 15-2 lead and were ahead 33-29 at halftime. Silas had 12 points in the first half on 1-of-8 shooting and was 10-for-10 at the line.

Darrin Williams led Illinois-Chicago with 16 points. Paul Carter and Robo Kreps scored 14 points apiece, Zavion Neely added 12 and Paris Carter had 10.