NMU men’s hoops: Blackwell’s 23 not enough to save Wildcats

MARQUETTE – Ethan Blackwell poured in a career-high 23 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Northern University men’s basketball team fell to visiting Northwood University, 76-71, in GLIAC play Saturday at the Berry Events Center.

A junior guard, Blackwell was 9 of 16 from the floor and 5 of 9 from 3-point range for the Wildcats, now 4-15 overall and 3-12 in GLIAC action.

NMU sophomore guard Terry Nash and junior forward Chavis Mattison added 12 points apiece. Mattison led the Wildcats with eight rebounds.

“(The loss is) tough to swallow, but (we) played hard enough to win today,” NMU head coach Bill Sall said.

“It always comes down to when you play good teams and you play close games, those crucial moments. You can’t afford to make mistakes.”

The Wildcats shot a blistering 62.2 percent from the floor in the first half, going 15 of 23 – including 5 of 8 (62.5 percent) from 3-point range.

Blackwell led the Wildcats with seven first-half points, shooting 3 of 4 from the floor and 1 of 2 from behind the arc.

A triple by freshman guard Wade Schetter of Carney gave NMU its largest lead of the game, 25-15, with 7:03 remaining in the first half.

A three-pointer by senior guard Spencer Huss of Marquette as time expired gave the Wildcats a 35-27 advantage going into the break.

Northwood opened the final 20 minutes on a 10-2 run to take the lead on a layup by Will Bowles with 16:01 left.

A triple by Blackwell gave NMU the lead, 41-39, with 14:32 remaining, but the Timberwolves (15-8, 11-4) recaptured the lead on a layup from Wes Wilcox at the 12-minute mark.

Nash drained a pair of free throws to put NMU on top for the final time, 47-46, before a trey by Bowles gave Northwood the lead for good, 49-47, with 10:23 left to go.

Dylan Langkabel led four Northwood players in double-digits with 21 points. He was followed by Darvin Ham with 14, Bowles with 13 and Wilcox with 11.