Close to clinching: Northern Michigan University Wildcat men’s basketball team could claim share of GLIAC title today at Michigan Tech

Northern Michigan University’s Max Weisbrod, right, drives for the basket from the 3-point line as Wisconsin-Parkside’s Rokas Castillo defends during their GLIAC men’s basketball game played at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Feb. 8. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)

Today’s game: NMU at Michigan Tech, 3 p.m.; TV: Fox-U.P.; Radio: WUPT 100.3 FM The Point


MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team is inching closer to claiming the regular season title in the GLIAC as there’s a chance they could clinch at least a share of the title by tonight.

The Wildcats travel to Houghton to face eighth-place Michigan Tech at 3 p.m. today. Despite the Huskies struggling to a 5-8 conference record, they have a lot on the line as MTU is just one win ahead of the two teams out of the GLIAC Tournament right now, Davenport and Wayne State.

The game will be televised on Fox-U.P. and also broadcast on radio station WUPT 100.3 FM The Point. Fans can also follow @NMUMensBBALL and @NMU_Wildcats on X (formerly Twitter) for updates at all times. Or visit the NMU athletics website at nmuwildcats.com and look under the men’s basketball schedule for links to a game preview and history and live statistics, video and audio.

While the Huskies are just trying to get into the GLIAC Tournament — where they might find themselves in a first-round matchup at NMU — Northern is flying high in the league at 12-1, along with a 19-6 overall mark that ranks them No. 16 in the Division 2 College Sports Communicators rankings and No. 24 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches poll, the Wildcats’ first entry in those ratings.

Second-place Lake Superior State is playing at fifth-place Saginaw Valley State at the same time today, and a Northern win and LSSU setback would drop the Lakers four losses behind NMU with four conference games left for each to play, meaning the Wildcats would clinch at least a share of the title. Lake State is currently 9-4 in the GLIAC while third-place Ferris State is 8-5.

Northern finds itself in this position after starting a new winning streak last week, winning at home against Wisconsin-Parkside 81-67 on Thursday and against Purdue Northwest 69-66 last Saturday.

In the game with Parkside, NMU rolled up a 17-4 advantage in the final six minutes to break free from the Rangers, then against Purdue NW scored the final eight points in the last three minutes to erase a five-point deficit.

Dylan Kuehl scored 22 points vs. PNW while teammate Max Weisbrod had 20 as they together accounted for the Wildcats’ final 15 points. Weisbrod also had six assists and seven rebounds, while Kuehl added in eight rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals.

Previously, NMU had a program-tying 13-game winning streak that was snapped with a 74-68 loss at LSSU on Feb. 3.

The second-to-last win in the long string was a 98-66 laugher at home against MTU, a game also televised on Fox-U.P.

“They’re different at home,” Northern head coach Matt Majkrzak said about the Huskies in an NMU Sports Information release previewing today’s game. “At home they are very, very tough. We know it’s going to be a challenge, so we have to do what we do at a very high clip.”

The Huskies are 8-14 overall, including 6-6 at home, scoring 71.2 points per game and allowing 74.1 ppg. They shoot 43.6% from the field and 34.5% on 3-pointers, with their opposition 3-point percentage third in the GLIAC at 34.1%, according to NMU SI.

Sophomore guard Marcus Tomashek leads the Huskies offensively, averaging 21.6 ppg, which is No. 1 in the conference and 15th in the country. .

Here are some facts about the Wildcats as gleaned by NMU SI:

• Northern’s Sam Schultz continues to lead the GLIAC at 10.0 rebounds per game, which is good for 16th in the country. He looks to become the first Wildcat since 1987-88 (Lake Cosby, 11.8 a game) to average double-digit rebounds over a season.

• Over the last nine games, Weisbrod has been one of the best players in the country, averaging 22.3 ppg while shooting an efficient 32 of 68 (47.1%) on treys. He is fifth in the GLIAC in scoring (16.9 ppg), third in assists per game (4.2), and second in 3-pointers made (70 of 178, 39.3%). In conference play, his 19.1 ppg ranks third and his 44 triples are first.

• The 1.73 assist-to-turnover ratio for the ‘Cats is the third-best mark in the country. Northern also averages 6.2 more rebounds a contest than its opponents, good for 26th. NMU only allows 7.3 offensive rebounds a contest, second best in the conference.

• Northern scores 80.1 ppg and allows 71.0 ppg. The scoring output is second in the GLIAC as the Wildcats are also ranked second in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 48.3%.

• The ‘Cats are second in the conference in both assists for and against — 16.4 per game for, 10.8 a game against.

• Northern has won five straight over Tech, including a 79-66 victory in last season’s GLIAC Championship. Five consecutive wins marks the longest NMU winning streak in the rivalry since the ‘Cats won 15 straight from 1981-87. Prior to the current streak, the Huskies won five in a row.

• In January, the Wildcats’ win over Tech by 32 points was the largest margin for either program over the other since the Wildcats defeated the Huskies 116-73 in 1985-86. Weisbrod scored a career-high 35 points in the January game.

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


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