WESTVILLE, Ind. (WLUC) – Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball saw four players score over 17 points with two posting career-highs on the way to an 86-74 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference victory over Purdue University Northwest.
Pacing the team's offense were seniors Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn.) and Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.), who both posted 20 points each. Redshirt freshman Troy Summers (Grayling, Mich.) notched a career-high 18 points and snagged a career-high 11 rebounds. He has averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds this week.
Sophomore Alec Fruin (Beloit, Wis.) scored a career-high 17 points, connecting on three three-pointers and was 4-5 from the free throw line. Junior Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill.) posted eight rebounds along with three blocked shots.
Echols and junior Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill.) finished the contest with four steals each.
Johnson sank two free throws to start the game and hit a three after a Howard bucket to put the Wildcats up 5-0 early. PNW responded to take a 6-5 lead before Summers made a layup to give NMU back a 7-6 lead three minutes into the game.
Echols and Johnson then scored for the Wildcats before a three by the Pride made it 11-9. Summers followed with a layup and free throw making it 14-9 with 14:54 to play in the half. The Pride answered with two free throws and a three-pointer to tie it, but Johnson made a layup and junior Marcus Matelski (Boyne Falls, Mich.) hit a three to put NMU up 19-14.
The Pride followed with a three of their own, but Fruin made a layup before PNW scored again. Summers responded with two free throws, but again, PNW answered with two of their own and the score was 23-21 with ten minutes to go in the half.
FINISHING THE HALF
Out of the second media timeout, Taylor made a jumper but PNW hit a three. Howard answered with a jumper followed by a Summers layup to make it 29-24 with seven minutes to play in the first half. Echols then added a jumper after a Pride free throw. Johnson gave NMU two free throws and Echol hit another jumper to push NMU up to a 35-25 lead with 4:49 on the clock.
After a PNW free throw, Summers made another layup. Echols exchanged two free throws with the Pride then made a layup before the Pride sank a three-pointer to make it 41-31 with 3:31 to go.
Fruin answered with a three of his own and Summers made a layup in response to a layup from PNW. The Pride hit a three-pointer but junior Kenton Mack (Algonquin, Ill.) made two free throws with 43 seconds left. The Pride finished the half with a dunk but NMU took a 48-38 lead into the break.
THE SECOND HALF
The Pride started the half with a three but Johnson answered with two jumpers. The Pride followed with another three before Echols sank two free throws. The Pride answered with an 8-2 run, with Taylor scoring for NMU and made the score 56-52 five minutes into the half.
Fruin followed with a jumper and three-pointer, plus Echols added a jumper before the Pride knocked in another three to make the score 63-55 with 10:40 to play. Johnson then came down and converted an old-fashioned three-pointer. Fruin then answered another Pride three with a three-pointer of his own, plus Summers made a free throw to make the score 70-58 at the 7:43 mark.
The Pride bounced back and pulled within 70-63, but Summers made made two layups. PNW scored two free throws and added a jumper and another free throw but Echols scored twice to put NMU back up 78-68 with 3:10 left to play.
With 2:55 to go, the hosts hit a jumper but Echols followed with two free throws. After a PNW free throw, Johnson made two free throws and Fruin sank four down the stretch. The Pride added a three-pointer at the buzzer but it wasn't enough and NMU captured the 86-74.
The Wildcats improve to 12-8 on the season and are now 7-6 in the GLIAC while Purdue Northwest falls to 6-15 and 2-11 in the league. NMU will return to action Thursday to take on Saginaw Valley State University Thursday, hosted by Jill Leonard State Farm and will host Senior Day on Saturday. Saturday's game is hosted by First Bank.