Working together: Northern Michigan University men’s, women’s basketball teams open GLIAC seasons tonight in Indiana

Northern Michigan Unviersity's Vivianne Jende, second from right, passes the ball to teammate Elena Alaix, right, as Minnesota-Duluth's Madelyn Granica, second from left, defends during their game played at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Sunday. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — Playing on their own schedules throughout November, the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Northern Michigan University begin traveling together this week for most of the rest of the season.

The GLIAC schedule starts for both teams tonight at Hammond, Indiana, where they play at Purdue Northwest. The women’s game is at 6 p.m. EST and the men’s at 8 p.m. EST.

They follow it up with games on Saturday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, at Wisconsin-Parkside with the women’s game at 2 p.m. EST and men’s at 4 p.m. EST.

Both teams return home the following weekend for a somewhat unusual Friday-Sunday weekend, rather than the usual Thursday-Saturday for GLIAC games.

NMU hosts Ferris State on Friday night, Dec. 9, and Lake Superior State on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 11. The men play at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Sunday with the women to follow.

Northern Michigan University's Dylan Kuehl, left, tries to work the ball around Concordia-St. Paul's John Grigsby during their game played at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Nov. 18. (Photo courtesy NMU)

Follow @nmu_wbball and @NMUMensBBall, along with @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter for continuous updates throughout the week.

All of this weekend’s games are scheduled to be broadcast on radio station WUPT 100.3 FM The Point.

Online, for video, audio, live statistics, previews and histories of the rivalries, visit the NMU sports website at nmuwildcats.com and look under the schedule for each team.

Here is a preview for this week:


Northern Michigan University's Ben Wolf, right, clips Lake Superior State's Kemon Bassett in the face with his elbow as he tries to create space to shoot in the first half of their GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal game played at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on March 2. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

NMU women look for win

These Wildcats are 4-3 but coming off a pair of losses at home to Minnesota schools last weekend. Minnesota-Duluth scored a 50-37 victory and St. Cloud State a 55-51 triumph at the Berry Events Center.

NMU has also lost its last two to Purdue NW.

Makaylee Kuhn is off to another strong start for the Wildcats, averaging team highs of 13.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. She also leads the team in assists with 22.

In her first year at Northern, Abi Fraaza averages 9.3 ppg, second on the team, and 5.3 rebounds, third best for the Wildcats.

And Mackenzie Holzwart checks in with 9.1 ppg and has made 15 assists.

Purdue Northwest is also 4-3 and led by Tadriana Heard at 19.3 ppg and 4.4 rebounds a contest. Dash Shaw is at 15.3 ppg and 5.0 rebounds as the Pride average 70.6 points per game.

Last season, PNW defeated Northern 59-56 in January and 53-52 in February.

Wisconsin-Parkside is just 2-4 coming off a close loss to No. 11 Minnesota State-Mankato.

Alyssa Nelson leads the Rangers at 21.8 ppg and five rebounds a contest as she has hit on 44% from the field and 80% at the free throw line.

Last season, NMU split with Parkside as each team won in the other’s gym.


NMU men

continue to score

These Wildcats are 5-2 after a road split last weekend, falling at St. Cloud State 76-69 before coming back for a 90-76 victory at No. 14 Minnesota-Duluth.

NMU averages 81.7 points per game, hitting the 90-point mark four times and even 100 in their season opener vs. McKendree.

GLIAC Preseason Player of the Year Max Bjorklund has roared out of the blocks, earning back-to-back league Player of the Week honors.

He averages 25.1 ppg and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 51% from the field, 41% on 3-pointers and 81% at the free-throw line.

Last week, he scored 28 points at St. Cloud and 26 at UMD. His scoring average is No. 5 in all of NCAA Division II men’s basketball.

Teammate Brian Parzych is also off to a solid start, averaging 16.7 ppg and 4.6 rebounds while leading the team with 23 assists and making 90% of his free throws.

Two freshmen have also made an early impact.

Dylan Kuehl leads the Wildcats in blocks with 10 and is averaging 9.6 ppg and 4.9 rebounds.

Max Weisbrod, averaging 9.4 ppg, is coming off a 23-point night when he made 5 of 6 from the field, including 4 of 5 on 3s, along with 9 of 9 free throws.

Like Northern, Purdue NW is 5-2 as the Pride have three players scoring in double figures — Alou Dillion is at 16.3 ppg along with 5.7 rebounds a game and a team-high 13 blocks; Mikell Cooper is at 12.9 ppg and leads the team with 26 assists; and Anthony Barnard is at 12.6 ppg to go with 4.4 rebounds per contest.

Wisconsin-Parkside is nearly as good as the two aforementioned teams at 4-2, but also has three players scoring in double figures.

Rasheed Bello is at 18.5 ppg, leading his team in assists with 29. Jamir Simpson is at 15.3 ppg, while Colin O’Rourke is at 13.8 ppg and is the Rangers’ leading rebounder at 6.7 per game and leading shot blocker with 10.

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


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