Cut down the nets: Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team celebrates ouright GLIAC title after 83-64 win over Davenport

The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team stands with a handwritten placard denoting them as the outright GLIAC champions after the Wildcats defeated Davenport 83-64 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Saturday afternoon. (Photo courtesy NMU)

GLIAC tourney:

NMU hosts a tournament doubleheader for the league quarterfinals on Wednesday:

• Women host Wayne State at 5:30 p.m.

• Men host Purdue Northwest at 7:30 p.m.


Northern Michigan University’s Dylan Kuehl, left, slams home his second dunk of the afternoon in the second half of a GLIAC men’s basketball game played against Purdue Northwest at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Feb. 10. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University was finally able to clinch the outright regular-season title in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on Saturday afternoon, racing past last-place Davenport 83-64 at the Berry Events Center.

With leading scorer Max Weisbrod back for the second straight game, the Wildcats built a 10-point halftime lead and shot better and handed out almost twice as many assists as the Panthers.

NMU, which won its first GLIAC title since 1992-93, finished the regular season at 21-9 overall and 14-4 in the conference, one game better than second-place Lake Superior State’s 13-5 even as the Lakers have a better overall record at 21-7.

But now the second season is just beginning. As the GLIAC Tournament’s No. 1 seed, Northern hosts No. 8 Purdue Northwest at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals, the second half of a women’s-men’s doubleheader as the NMU women also earned home court in the first round.

With a win against Purdue NW, the Wildcat men would automatically host the tourney’s semifinals and finals, set for Saturday and Sunday, respectively, though game times have yet to be announced.

Weisbrod was one of five Northern players to score in double figures Saturday. He had 12 points, making a pair of 3-pointers and 4 of 5 free throws while adding in five assists.

Carson Smith led NMU scorers with 16 points and he hit 4 of 6 on triple and 4 of 4 on free throws to go with two steals, two assists and three rebounds.

Teammate Sam Schultz recorded one of his patented double-doubles, scoring 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go with a game-high 10 rebounds. He also had four assists and no turnovers in 27 minutes court time.

The Wildcats’ Riley Brooks scored 11 points with a pair of 3s and the team’s only blocked shot, while Jackson Dudek pumped in 10 points, making 5 of 5 shots from the field along with three rebounds in just 11 minutes on the court.

Dylan Kuehl had nine points and four rebounds and no turnovers in 29 minutes, while Brian Parzych had five points and a game-high seven assists.

Davenport’s Jakub Dombek came off the bench and led all scorers with 20 points, while teammate Jovan Tucker added 15.

The Wildcats shot 54% from the field (31 of 57) to just 42% for Davenport (25 of 60), while also totaling 21 assists to the Panthers’ 11.

NMU jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first 2 1/2 minutes after Schultz made a pair of layups and Smith a 3-pointer.

But the Panthers came back to tie it 11-11 and 14-14 before amassing a lead of as many as five points twice, the final time 30-25 with 6:25 left in the first half on a Matas Deksnys triple.

Northern then needed less than three minutes to retake the lead for the final time, 33-32, when Sam Privet made a layup. That was an early part of a first half-ending 15-2 run that put the Wildcats up 44-34 at the break.

While DU came out to start the second half with the first four points to get within 44-38, NMU quickly rebuilt not only a double-digit lead, but got it to more than 20 points with 11:27 left, 62-41, with a Weisbrod jumper.

The lead remained in double digits the rest of the way.

After the game, NMU Sports Information noted in its game report, players along with the coaching staff and head athletic trainer cut down the nets to celebrate its GLIAC regular season championship.

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


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