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.
It was the first meeting between the schools.
With a trio a top recruits from Philadelphia, the Penn State basketball program is primed to finally turn a corner.
Chad Ford provides the latest intel on which players are entering the 2016 NBA draft and which are staying put.
Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.