Northern Michigan University Wildcats men’s basketball team still dominating at home, women’s game canceled again

Northern Michigan University men’s basketball players Max Bjorklund, center, and Brian Parzych, right, play defense during an exhibition game against Bay College at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Oct. 28. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — Despite an 0-4 start to their GLIAC campaign, the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team has to feel fortunate to get both their league games in on Thursday and Saturday.

That’s because the Wildcats posted their first two GLIAC wins of the season after NMU completed a weekend sweep with a convincing 72-53 win over visiting Wisconsin-Parkside at the Berry Events Center.

Northern’s women’s team, unfortunately, has both its games canceled on those days, the Saturday contest announced as due to health and safety guidelines as was Thursday’s game against Purdue Northwest. The NMU women are 7-4 overall and 2-2 in the GLIAC.

On Saturday for the NMU men (6-7, 2-4 GLIAC), graduate transfer John Kerr led the way with 23 points as he made 10 of 16 shots from the field, including 2 of 3 on 3-pointers. He added a game-high 12 rebounds.

Freshman Brian Parzych scored 17 points, including 4 of 7 on triples, as he grabbed five rebounds, made four assists and even blocked a shot.

And Nick Wagner, Thursday’s leading scorer, added 10 points with two triples along with three rebounds and two assists.

Teammate Sam Schultz scored eight points as he dished out a game-high five assists and pulled in six rebounds.

Tray Croft paced Parkside (5-8, 2-4) with 23 points as he made two 3s and 7 of 7 free throws while pulling down a Rangers-high six rebounds and shared assists and steals honors with two apiece.

With neither team scoring in the first 2 1/2 minutes, NMU jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a pair of layups by Kerr, one becoming a traditional three-point play with a free throw added in.

The Wildcats moved their lead into double digits with 12:32 left in the first half, 16-5, on a Parzych 3-pointer, before upping their advantage to 20 points, 31-11, with 6:35 left in the half on a Kerr short jumper.

Leading 47-24 at halftime, Parkside whittled its deficit to 13 points, 66-53, with 3:18 left before the NMU ended the game with a pair of triples by Parzych while keeping the Rangers from scoring any more points.

Both Wildcat teams now hit the road this week for games at Saginaw Valley State in University Center on Thursday evening and at Wayne State in Detroit on Saturday afternoon.

The following week, Jan. 20-22, begins a four-game homestand with games vs. Davenport that Thursday and Grand Valley State on that Saturday.

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


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