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Tuesday April 24, 2018
SPLIT DECISION: Northern Men Win; Women Fall

The following story was written by NMU Sports Information

MARQUETTE---
The Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball Team defeated their rival, Michigan Tech University for the first time since the 2014-15 season to start Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play 5-0.  The 77-65 victory is also the first victory over Michigan Tech in Marquette, Michigan since the 2012-13 season.

NMU featured four players in double-figures, led by junior Naba Echols' (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) 21 points and four assists.  Senior Eddie Tornes(Muskegon, Mich./Cumberland C.C.) chipped in with 20 points.


Junior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) added 14 points and led the team with nine rebounds.  Sophomore Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton)posted 11 points and a team-best four steals.


Taylor scored twice, and sophomore Will Carius(Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) scored to give NMU an early 6-2 lead. After a Tech basket, Johnson knocked in a three and Tornes scored four points and NMU was ahead 13-4 with 13:13 to go in the first half.  The Huskies responded to narrow the game to just a 13-10 Wildcat lead at the 13:10 mark.


Echols answered and capitalized on a three-point play, but a quick run by MTU brought the lead down to just one.  Over the next several minutes the teams exchanged baskets, with the Huskies even taking a brief lead.  After a jump shot by the Huskies brought the score to a 27-26 NMU lead with 3:49 left in the half, NMU rattled off ten straight points to close out the first half.


After a Johnson free throw, Echols scored on back-to-back possessions, followed by a Tornes three and Carius layup to give the Wildcats a 37-27 lead at the break.

Tornes opened the second half with a bucket and NMU was up 13 early in the second.

The Wildcats eventually pushed the lead to as many as 19 points with 7:36 to go in the game, leading 65-46.  The Huskies then went on a run over the next five minutes, pulling within 71-65 with just over two minutes to go. 


However, Tornes answered with three-pointers on two of the next three NMU possessions to get NMU back up 77-65.  The Wildcats would hold on and kept MTU scoreless over the final two minutes to take the victory. 


For the game NMU committed just two turnovers throughout the 40 minutes and finished the game with nine steals. 


With the win, Northern Michigan improves to 8-3 on the season, while their 5-0 GLIAC record keeps them in a tie for first place. The eight wins also ties last season's total wins and they will tie last season's GLIAC total with just one more win.

The following story was written by MTU Athletics

MARQUETTE---The Michigan Tech women's basketball team held on for a 59-56 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win Sunday afternoon at rival Northern Michigan University. The Huskies pulled in front 42-37 through 30 minutes by holding the Wildcats to eight points in the third quarter. Tech then held off NMU down the stretch with key plays on both the offensive and defensive end of the floor.

"This was a good win for us on the road and we were able to overcome quite a few challenges in this afternoon's game," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "It doesn't matter if it wasn't the prettiest game or that it was hard, because no matter what the circumstances have been recently at Northern Michigan we haven't been able to do what we did today and that's go home with a win. I'm really proud our team being able to persevere and get this victory.

 

"Every possession was big in this game again today and hopefully we are learning how to play possession for possession along with the value of one score on offense to one stop on defense. I'm really proud of where we are at as a team and being able to go into the break with this win is really good."
 

Neither team held a lead greater than seven points in Sunday's game and it proved to be a low scoring battle throughout the contest. Michigan Tech (11-1, 5-0 GLIAC) and Northern Michigan (6-6, 2-3 GLIAC) are two of the top ranked defenses in the GLIAC when it comes to points allowed. The Huskies are allowing just 60.8 points per game while the Wildcats hold opponents to 60.0 points per contest.

The Huskies were limited to two points in the first five minutes of the third quarter and found themselves down by five points at 35-30. Junior Elizabeth Kelliher sparked the offense with a conventional three-point play thanks to a layup and a free throw followed by a Guy triple that put Tech ahead again at 36-35. The Wildcats grabbed lead back at 37-36 on an Erin Honkala free throw, but the Huskies would close the third quarter with six straight points.

 

Junior Isabella O'Brien hauled down a crucial offensive rebound and drew a foul to get to the free throw line. She sank both shots to make it a 38-37 lead and then tacked on another point at the line after grabbing a board on the defensive end of the floor. Sophomore Hannah Hobson then dialed in a triple with 40 seconds to play in the third, lifting Tech's lead to 42-37.

From that point forward, the Huskies never trailed but couldn't breathe easy until the final buzzer. Winter bumped Tech's advantage to 50-43 on a jumper with 6:38 to go in the fourth, prompting a timeout by Northern Michigan. The Wildcats got a layup from Honkala out of the break and kept the score within two possessions the rest of the way.
 

In the final minute, Hodell made it a three-point margin at 55-52 on two free throws followed by a Lexi Smith layup that cut Tech's lead to 55-54 with 29 seconds to go. Forced to foul, Northern Michigan put Guy on the free throw line and she came through for the Huskies with two clutch free throw makes.

Smith raced to the other end of the floor for the Wildcats where she tossed in a quick layup, forcing the Huskies to make two more free throws. This time, it was Winter who pushed the Tech lead to three points again at 59-56 on the strength of two successful tries at the charity stripe. The Wildcats had one last chance, but a Schultz three-point attempt from the right corner bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded, enabling the Huskies to emerge with the victory.

Guy powered the Huskies with 15 points followed by Stoll and Winter with 12 points each in Sunday's win. Hodell collected a game high 17 points for the Wildcats followed by Schultz with 12 points and Smith with 11 points. Honkala chipped in seven points and pulled down a team high seven rebounds.


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