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Freshman Noah Parcher, Ben Wolf lead Northern Michigan University in nonleague men’s basketball loss to Hillsdale

Northern Michigan University’s Ben Wolf makes a basket against Saginaw Valley State during their game on Dec. 7 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Journal file photo by Amy Grigas)

MARQUETTE — Freshmen Noah Parcher and Ben Wolf led the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team in scoring, but it wasn’t enough as Hillsdale defeated the Wildcats 70-52 in a nonconference game played at the Berry Events Center on Thursday evening.

Parcher scored 11 points, while Wolf, actually a redshirt freshman, added 10 while sharing the game’s top rebounding honors with seven. Wolf shot well, making 4 of 5 from the field and 2 of 2 at the free-throw line, in just 19 minutes of action.

Sophomore teammate Dolapo Olayinka also grabbed seven rebounds and made a team-high two shot blocks while pumping in eight points.

While the teams were nearly identical at the free-throw line — NMU made 10 of 11 and Hillsdale a perfect 10 of 10 — the former GLIAC member outshot Northern from the field, and in fact, had its best shooting night of the season.

The Chargers, 7-5 and a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference since 2017, shot 46 percent (25 of 54) from the field overall while NMU was at 32 percent (20 of 63). And the difference on 3-pointers was even more pronounced — Hillsdale made 50 percent (10 of 20) and Northern a paltry 13 percent (2 of 15).

Ben Wolf

The Wildcats fell into a deep hole early, trailing 25-6 at the midpoint of the first half, before digging themselves out a bit to trail 37-25 at halftime.

NMU (4-6) finally got within single digits when Wolf hit a jumper a minute and a half after intermission to make it 38-29 Hillsdale. A Howard putback off an Alec Fruin missed shot, followed by Parcher’s layup within the next two minutes made it 38-33.

But that was as close as Northern would get as the Chargers re-extended it lead to more than 20 points, 59-37, on a Austin Yarian triple with 8:33 to go. The Wildcats never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.

NMU completes its home weekend with a 1 p.m. Saturday game against NCAA Division III Ripon.

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

Noah Parcher