Save best for last: Leading scorers Dylan Kuehl, Brian Parzych score in final seconds to preserve Northern Michigan University men’s basketball 75-69 win over Wayne State
MARQUETTE — Dylan Kuehl and Brian Parzych were good for two dozen points apiece, but it was each of their final two points that were probably the most important for the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team on Thursday evening.
The Wildcats defeated Wayne State 75-69 in each team’s GLIAC opener at Northern’s PEIF Gym after Kuehl made a layup with 12 seconds left and Parzych sank a pair of free throws with 1 second remaining.
Just before that, the Warriors cut NMU’s lead that had been multiple possessions throughout the second half down to two points, 71-69, on a Carmelo Harris layup with 41 seconds to go.
The Wildcats had held the lead since Kuehl bombed in a 3-pointer with 1:59 to go in the first half and put Northern up 37-35.
Including a 41-37 advantage at halftime, NMU kept the lead till the very end, upping it to as many as 10 points twice about 2 1/2 minutes apart in the early stages of the second half. First it reached 49-39 with 16:05 left following a Kuehl layup, then it was 55-45 with 13:35 to go after a Kuehl 3-pointer.
The Wildcats, who improved to 6-5 overall, held the lead for almost all of the game’s first nine minutes until WSU went on an 8-0 run to take its biggest lead, 21-16, with 8:18 remaining before halftime.
NMU worked to get back in it, tying it 24-24 on a Sam Privet jumper with 6:05 to go before taking the lead for good about four minutes later.
For the night, Kuehl and Parzych each made three triples and each only missed one free throw, combining for an 8-of-10 night at the line.
Parzych also had three assists and five rebounds, while Kuehl had four rebounds.
Teammate Carson Smith added 11 points and two steals as Sam Schultz paced Northern rebounders with nine and Max Weisbrod had a curious stat line with a game-high five assists but no points.
Harris paced the Warriors (4-3) with 22 points and four assists as the teams shot similarly, each shooting 49% from the field as NMU made 35% on 3s and WSU 39%.
Northern remains home at the PEIF Gym for another GLIAC game today, taking on Saginaw Valley State at 1 p.m.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.