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NMU men end losing streak at 2 with win over SW Minnesota St.

DULUTH, Minn. — After back-to-back losses on the road, the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team got back on track Saturday as it took down Southwest Minnesota State 72-63.

A second-half surge was key for the Wildcats as they came out of the halftime break on a 14-0 run to take control of the game.

Marcus Matelski led NMU (2-2) with a career-high 18 points, while Sam Taylor dropped in 11 off the bench. Alec Fruin chipped in nine points, while also setting career highs in rebounds (10) and assists (7).

Matelski started the second half with two treys and after a Noah Parcher layup, Matelski hit another triple. A Fruin 3-pointer then capped off the run and NMU held a 44-30 advantage. The Mustangs (1-3) didn’t go away, though, as they cut the Wildcats’ lead to nine at 46-37 and later down to five at 54-49 with 8:51 left. However, Northern wasn’t shaken and held on.

The first half started off as a close game as a Taylor trey and two free throws from Troy Summers helped put the Wildcats up 15-14 with 12:38 to go. SMS held a 23-20 advantage with a little more than four minutes remaining, but then the game turned into a seesaw affair as the teams traded baskets. Dolapo

Olayinka nailed a triple with eight seconds left to give the Wildcats a 33-30 lead, but the Mustangs put in a layup a couple seconds later and the two teams were tied at 30-30 going to the break.

Northern returns to action Nov. 29-30 at the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic in Anchorage, Alaska. The Wildcats play Alaska-Fairbanks Friday night and Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.