Wildcat men protect big early lead in victory

By Journal Sports Staff

PAINESVILLE, Ohio — The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team jumped out to a big early lead and protected it well in an 82-67 victory at Lake Erie College on Saturday evening.

The Wildcats (3-5 overall, 1-2 GLIAC) led 5-0, 26-8 and 40-19 during the first half as they took a 44-21 lead into the halftime break.

The Storm (1-10, 1-3) got as close as eight points on two occasions in the second half before NMU built its lead back to double digits for the rest of the game.

Northern’s Naba Echols and Isaiah Johnson each scored 13 points in the first half as Echols finished as the game’s leading scorer with 24 points and Johnson added 19.

Teammate Jordan Perez scored 14 points while Brett Branstrom, a Mid Peninsula High School product, shared game rebounding honors with Lake Erie’s Nick Wells with eight each.

Echols added a team-high five assists as he made just one of NMU’s eight turnovers.

The Wildcats return home this week for their last two games before the holidays. NMU hosts Findlay at 8 p.m. Thursday and Hillsdale at 3 p.m. Saturday. Both opponents made it to the GLIAC Tournament last season.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.