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Wildcats overcome slow start, zip past Pride

Five players in double figures, led by Wagner’s 19
 (NMU Graphic)
(NMU Graphic) (WLUC)
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 12:39 AM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Northern Michigan Men’s Basketball team grabbed their first GLIAC win on the season, taking down Purdue Northwest 90-59 on Thursday (Jan. 6).

STAT LEADERS Graduate student Nick Wagner led the team with 19 points shooting 8-15 from the field and 3-10 beyond the arc as well as playing a team high 26 minutes. He also had five assists and five rebounds.Another graduate student, John Kerr, had a dominant performance with 17 points and was 7-8 from the field. He hit all 3 of his free throws, had four assists and two rebounds.Freshman Brian Parzych helped his teammates in a big way as he led the team with nine assists and four steals to go along with his two points and rebounds.Sam Schultz led the team with 12 rebounds to go along with his 12 points.Northern shot 38-74 from the field and was 5-23 from deep. NMU led the game for 32 minutes with their largest lead being 34 points. The whole team helped out, as Northern scored 37 bench points and accumulated 21 points off of turnovers.

1ST HALF Max Bjorklund was on fire to start the game as he opened the scoring for the ‘Cats, as well as scoring 11 of the team’s first 14 points.Good defense leading to offense was a common theme in the half for Brian Parzych, as he had a pair of steals that lead to assists going the other way. One of which was a beautiful cross court pass that found a wide open Nick Wagner for a corner three. This helped the ‘Cats get their first lead of the game with a 19-17 score.The Wildcats played lock-down defense and kept their foot on the gas, scoring 20 and holding PNW to just 4 points in a 7 minute span.Max Bjorklund continued his dominance with a layup, giving him a team-leading 15 points on the half, and extending the lead to 39-25.Another smooth assist from Brian Parzych to Sam Schultz for a basket, then on the next drive Brian found Nick Wagner for a 3-pointer, giving him 5 assists on the half and extending the lead to 47-29.The ‘Cats remained disciplined in the half, with four fouls to nine from the Pride as well as taking advantage of their opportunities, scoring 17 points off turnovers. Northern finished on top with a 49-29 lead going into the locker room.At the half, Max Bjorklund lead the team with 15 points and was 7-8, Brian Parzych lead the team in both assists and steals with five and three, and Sam Schultz led the way around the glass with five rebounds.

2ND HALF Sam Schultz opened the second half scoring for the ‘Cats with a smooth hook shot, along with John Kerr and Brian Parzych remaining hot as Brian assisted on a pair of buckets to extend the lead to 59-35.Sam Schultz got a strong defensive rebound then thread the needle on a full court pass finding Jack Rusch for a layup, leading to a 68-39 lead.Brian Parzych continued his play making prowess, collecting his 9th assist on a seam pass to Sam Schultz in the paint for his 9th point of the game to extend the ‘Cats lead 74-45.Nick Wagner dominated the scoreboard in the 2nd half as a floating jump shot gave him a team-leading 19 points and a Wildcat 83-50 lead.Carson Smith capped off the evening with a beautiful fake pass and drive to give NMU a 90-59 lead. The score would remain that way as NMU improves their record to 5-7, 1-4 in the GLIAC.

UP NEXT The Wildcats remain home for another GLIAC matchup against Parkside on Saturday, Jan. 8 with a 1:15 pm start time.

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