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Dolapo Olayinka leads Northern Michigan University Wildcat men past Saginaw Valley State on Saturday, 69-57

Dolapo Olayinka

UNIVERSITY CENTER — Dolapo Olayinka recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team avenged Friday’s loss with 69-57 victory at Saginaw Valley State on Saturday afternoon.

The junior guard-forward made a pair of 3-pointers and 6 of 8 free throws, while pulling in eight defensive rebounds to go with two blocked shots and just two turnovers in 35 minutes playing time.

Teammate Justin Kuehl added 11 points and two steals as he also knocked down a pair of triples. And Noah Parcher scored 10 points, pulled in eight rebounds and made four assists without a turnover in 28 minutes as the Wildcats evened their record at 2-2.

Delano Smith paced SVSU (1-3) with 18 points and 12 rebounds, though he only made 1 of 10 on 3-point shots. The Cardinals as a whole made just 3 of 25 triple tries (12 percent), though they were good on 12 of 14 free throws (86 percent).

NMU took control from the outset and never relinquished the lead, sprinting to an 11-0 lead exactly four minutes in when Olyainko tallied his first two points on a pair of free throws. Kuehl knocked down a 3-point jumper and a layup following his own steal in those first few minutes.

SVSU crept back into the game in the middle of the first half, getting as close as 16-13 when Tre Garrett made a layup with 9:20 left. But another 7-0 spurt by Northern reupped the advantage to 23-13 with 7:25 to go before halftime on a Max Bjorklund jumper.

NMU spent the final five minutes of the half with a double-digit lead, including 37-19 at the break.

The Wildcats were ready to call it a day when they increased their lead to 23 on several occasions early in the second half, the final time at 46-23 with 17:01 to go when Alex Fruin hit a jumper.

But the Cardinals refused to go away, going on a gigantic 23-2 run over the next nine minutes to pull within 48-46 on a Myles Belyeu layup with 8:13 left.

SVSU never did catch Northern, however, as Olayinka first hit a pair of free throws to make it 50-46, then made a pair of 3-pointers in the final 2:33 to stretch the lead back to 63-51 with 1:15 to go.

The Wildcat men remain on the road this weekend for a pair of games at Ferris State at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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

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