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Wildcat men finish month with 2 home games

By Journal Sports Staff

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team plays its only nonconference games since starting its GLIAC schedule with home contests in the next several days at the Berry Events Center.

The Wildcats host former league member Hillsdale at 5:30 p.m. Thursday before taking on Ripon, Wisconsin, College in an exhibition game at 1 p.m. Saturday.

NMU (4-5) won for the first time in three GLIAC games this season with a buzzer-beating 64-61 victory at Michigan Tech on Sunday. Senior Marcus Matelski hit the game-winning 3-pointer from the corner, culminating an inbounds play that began with just three seconds left.

Throwing in from in front of his team’s bench, Northern senior Myles Howard found sophomore Dolapo Olayinka posting up on the near wing, according to an account from NMU Sports Information. Olayinka turned and drove to the middle of the floor, and after several defenders converged, he dished to Matelski, who was wide open for his attempt.

The Wildcats built a 31-19 halftime lead only to see the Huskies whittle it down to nothing with about eight minutes left.

Almost all of the rest of the time was a one-possession game. Matelski and Olayinka led a balanced scoring attack with 11 points each, while teammates Sam Taylor, Alec Fruin and Troy Summers had 10 apiece.

Matelski is fourth in the GLIAC in 3-point shooting at 53.7 percent, making 3.2 per game. He also averages a team-high 10.8 points per game.

NMU snapped a 13-game losing streak to Hillsdale last season and leads the all-time series 33-27. The Chargers, members of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference since 2017, are 6-5 after having their three-game win streak snapped in a 68-65 loss at Lewis on Tuesday.

Northern has never lost in seven games to Ripon with their most recent meeting in the 1990-91 season. A member of the NCAA Division III Midwest Conference, the Red Hawks are 5-4 after losing three in a row.

Follow @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter for continuous coverage, while these games can be followed with video, audio and live statistics online.

Both games can be followed with video at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/nmu/ and audio at https://streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/ce/wupt. Live stats on Thursday are available at http://nmuwildcats.com/sports/mbkb/2019-20/boxscores/20191219_w93a.xml and on Saturday at http://nmuwildcats.com/sports/mbkb/2019-20/boxscores/20191221_2npx.xml.

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

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