HOUGHTON, Mi. Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball defeated Michigan Technological University 74-53 to give NMU their first sweep over the Huskies since the 2005-06 season.
The Wildcats were led by senior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn.) as he notched 20 points and finished 9-10 on the night. Senior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) added 15 points and seven rebounds.
Junior Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill.) chipped in with 13 points while redshirt freshman Troy Summers (Grayling, Mich.) posted 12.
Junior Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill.) finished the night with eight points and added six blocks and seven rebounds to his totals.
Tech scored the first two baskets before Summers hit two jumpers to tie it at 4-4 with 17:20 on the clock. The Huskies answered with four points but Summers answered with two free throws and Echols hit his first jumper to tie it at 8-8 at the 15:41 mark.
Echols then made a three and another jumper, followed by a jumper from sophomore Alec Fruin (Beloit, Wis.) to push NMU up 15-7. The Huskies stopped the run with a basket but Summers answered with another layup. The hosts put in a free throw which NMU responded to with a Taylor three, pushing the lead to 20-11. The Huskies added two more free throws but a Howard dunk made the score 22-13 at the 9:56 mark.
ENDING THE HALF STRONG
After a Husky score made it 22-15, Howard had a tip-in and Johnson made a free throw. Johnson and Echols then sandwiched an MTU score with layups, making the score 29-17 with 6:46 on the clock. Johnson added a layup which Tech answered with a score.
Echols would then add a free throw and junior Kenton Mack (Algonquin, Ill.) made a layup before the Huskies scored again, which Taylor followed with a three to move the NMU lead to 37-21 with four minutes left in the half.
Michigan Tech responded with a three but Echols made a layup. The hosts made a free throw and Johnson answered with a layup. The Huskies made a free throw with one second remaining in the half and sent the teams into halftime with NMU leading 41-27.
A NEW HALF
Summers made a layup to get the half started and after an MTU basket, Howard got a dunk to make it 45-29 just two minutes into the second half. Summers added two free throws but Tech answered with four points before Johnson sank two free throws.
After two free throws by the Huskies, Echols hit a jumper and a layup, and Johnson made two free throws to make the NMU lead 55-35 at the 12:45 mark. The hosts scored twice while Echols made a layup, followed by a Johnson layup to give NMU a 59-40 lead. MTU managed another score to make it 59-42 with ten minutes to play.
SECURING THE WIN
Out of a media timeout, MTU scored again but Howard answered with two free throws. MTU then added two more free throws but Echols hit a jumper to move the lead to 63-46 with 6:27 to play.
Johnson then added a layup and Taylor made a three t0 give the Wildcats a 68-46 lead. The Huskies made a three but Taylor made another three in response and made it 71-49 with 2:27 to play. MTU added two more baskets while redshirt freshman Carson Wonders (Iron Mountain, Mich.) made a layup and Taylor sank free throw to give NMU a 74-53 victory.
The Wildcats improved to 16-11 and 11-9 in the GLIAC. The 16 wins are the most in a season since 2006-07 when the team won 18 games. Tech fell to 11-16 on the year and just 6-14 in the GLIAC. The win is also the biggest win over Michigan Tech since a 77-54 victory over the Huskies in the 2007 GLIAC Tournament. The Wildcats now prepare for the GLIAC Tournament as they will hit the road for the GLIAC Quarterfinals, played on March 5. With GLIAC games still to finish, Tuesday's location and opponent is still to be determined.