Northern Michigan University men’s basketball comeback falls just short in 85-82 loss at Minnesota-Duluth

Will Carius

DULUTH, Minnesota — Will Carius brought the score back to a one-possession game with 14 seconds left, but the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team couldn’t get closer as Minnesota-Duluth escaped with an 87-82 nonconference victory on Tuesday afternoon.

Carius hit a 3-point jumper that cut Duluth’s lead to 85-82 after the Wildcats fell behind for good with just under seven minutes to go.

The game had been back and forth before that, with NMU (8-4) tied or leading for about four minutes before the Bulldogs’ Brandon Myer hit a jumper with 6:56 to go that put UMD on top 67-65.

In the waning seconds, Kyle Schalow and Trevor Entwisle each hit a free throw to give Duluth (3-7) a two-possession lead again. Carius and teammate Isaiah Johnson were able to get off 3-point attempts before the buzzer, but neither fell.

Johnson led four Northern players scoring in double figures with 18 points, while Carius and Naba Echols added 16 apiece and Dolapo Olayinka had 15. Carius led NMU rebounders with eight, while Echols made three assists and Olayinka two blocked shots.

Isaiah Johnson

Myer led all players with 32 points and 13 rebounds. He was one of two Bulldogs to make at least 10 free throws as UMD was 35 of 45 at the line with NMU going 18 of 26.

Myer made 10 of 11 free throws and teammate Logan Rohrscheib, who scored 21 points, went 12 of 13.

The extra free throws more than made up for the Wildcats holding an edge of a half dozen more shots made from the field.

In the game’s first few minutes, the lead changed hands several times before UMD went ahead for about seven minutes in the middle of the first half.

Olayinka made a layup with 9:15 left to tie the score 25-25 and neither team had a lead of more than two points for the rest of the first half, including a 39-39 tie at the break.

The lead continued to change hands to start the second half, but after Carius hit a triple with 10:43 to go, NMU took a lead it built to six points when Jordan Perez sank his own 3 with 9:19 remaining to give the Wildcats a 65-59 lead.

That must’ve woken up the Bulldogs, who immediately went on a 10-0 run to catch, then bypass Northern for good.

NMU won’t play again until a home weekend to start January, facing Tiffin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4, and Ashland at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6.

The Wildcats’ eight wins heading into the holiday break already match last season’s total, while their 5-0 GLIAC start is their best in more than two decades.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is