MARQUETTE, Mi. Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball outscored the University of Minneapolis-Duluth 39-17 in the second half on their way to a 64-52 victory to give the Wildcats their first 3-0 start since the 2008-09 season.
Seniors Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn.) and Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) led the team with 18 points each. Junior Marcus Matelski (Boyne Falls, Mich.) added eight points.
Johnson and junior Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill.) both finished the game with seven rebounds. Junior Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill.) posted six rebounds and also led the Wildcats with five assists. Echols notched three assists.
Johnson and junior Kenton Mack (Algonquin, Ill.) had two steals each.
THE FIRST 10 MINUTES
Echols put NMU on the board with a three-pointer but the Bulldogs answered and took an 8-3 lead before sophomore Alec Fruin (Beloit, Wis.) hit a three followed by an Echols layup to tie it at 8-8 five minutes into the game.
UMD went ahead 12-8 when sophomore Dolapo Olayinka (Chicago, Ill.) hit a free throw. After another Bulldog basket, Matelski hit a three to make it 14-12. Olayinka then hit another free throw to make it 14-13 at the 9:52 mark.
FINISHING THE HALF
Out of the media timeout, Olayinka hit another free throw to tie the score. UMD made two baskets to go up 18-14, but Olayinka threw down a dunk. The Bulldogs answered with a three to make it 21-16 with 7:22 left in the half.
Johnson and the guests traded baskets, and Johnson followed a UMD three with a jumper and two free throws to move the score to 26-22 with 3:26 to go.
With the score 30-22, Matelski hit a second three-pointer of the half, but the Bulldogs added five points to end the half with a 35-25 lead.
THE SECOND HALF
Echols opened the second half with a layup and a jumper to move NMU closer, then Johnson made a three to make it 35-32 less than three minutes into the second half.
The teams traded free throws, then Taylor tied the score, 36-36 with 15:19 on the clock. The teams exchanged makes to 40-40 when Echols hit a three-pointer to give NMU back the lead, 43-40 at the 10:35 mark.
UMD made a basket, but Johnson made a free throw followed by an Echols layup and Johnson then made a layup and free throw to take a 49-42 lead. The Bulldogs answered and pulled within 49-47 but Johnson responded with a three-pointer, making the score 52-47 with just over five minutes to play.
With less than four minutes to play, Howard made a layup. After a Bulldog basket, Johnson and Howard hit jumpers moving the lead up to 58-49 with 1:42 to play. UMD sank two free throws but Echols made a layup and two free throws, making it 62-51. Howard made two more free throws, and a UMD free throw made the final score 64-52.
NMU improves to 3-0 on the season will return to action next week by taking on Ohio Dominican University at Hillsdale Thanksgiving Tournament November 20.