Northern Michigan University Wildcats men’s basketball team tagged with pair of home losses
MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team was outrebounded in one game and outshot in the other as they lost a pair of nonconference games to two Minnesota schools at the Berry Events Center over the weekend.
St. Cloud State held a 39-26 rebounding edge on Saturday in its 89-73 win over the Wildcats, while Minnesota-Duluth shot about 12 percent better from the field while making a bunch of 3-pointers in a 76-63 victory over NMU on Saturday.
Northern (3-3) hits the road for its first GLIAC games of the season during the next week. The Wildcats travel to Midland to face Northwood at 8 p.m. Thursday before going to Houghton to face Michigan Tech at 7:30 p.m. next Monday.
Here is a synopsis of last weekend’s games:
St. Cloud State 89, NMU 73
On Saturday afternoon, Max Bjorklund and Tre Harvey shared Wildcat scoring honors with 16 points apiece as Harvey made three triples and Bjorklund two.
Bjorklund also had a team-high three steals to go with three rebounds, while Sam Schultz scored nine points and shared team rebounding honors with Justin Kuehl with five each. Brian Parzych had NMU highs of six assists and two blocked shots to go with six points.
The Wildcats only held the lead for about 15 seconds at 3-2 when Nick Wagner sank a 3-pointer with 17:37 left in the first half.
Northern stayed close until St. Cloud (3-3) extended its lead into double digits at 21-11 with 12:34 left before halftime. The lead remained between nine and 14 points the rest of the half, including 40-28 at halftime.
The visitors quickly extended their lead to 21 points, 56-35, with 14:25 remaining before the Wildcats worked steadily to whittle the deficit. They got it to nine, 66-57, with 7:51 left on a Harvey triple, then pulled as close as eight, 72-64, on a pair of free throws by Kuehl with 5:44 to go.
After that, though, the Huskies rebuilt a double-digit lead as it remained there the rest of the way.
Minnesota-Duluth 76, NMU 63
On Sunday afternoon, the Wildcats faced the tough task of going up against an undefeated (7-0) Minnesota-Duluth squad.
The Bulldogs shot a solid 45 percent from the field (26 of 58), including the same mark on 3s (9 of 20). Northern, meanwhile was just 33 percent from the field (21 of 64) and only 4 of 21 on triples (19 percent).
But Bjorklund had a productive day, scoring a game-high 23 points to go with five rebounds and no turnovers in 32 minutes court time.
Teammate John Kerr added 10 points as he also pulled in five rebounds even while fouling out. Schultz had a team-high six rebounds to go with eight points as he also fouled out, while Kuehl made three steals and five rebounds.
Duluth’s Joshua Brown and Drew Blair scored 21 points apiece, while teammate Austin Andrews added 20 along with a game-high 14 rebounds.
Though the Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-0 lead, NMU quickly tied it 8-8 on a Bjorklund free throw with 13:51 left in the first half.
The Wildcats then took the lead for most of the rest of the half, though they settled for a 31-31 halftime tie.
But Duluth took control right for the get-go in the second half and never trailed again, even though NMU tied it 37-37 on a pair of Bjorklund free throws with 16:54 remaining.
The Bulldogs then went on a 10-2 run and kept the lead at around 10 points for most of the time remaining.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is email@example.com.