Second Half Rally Gives NMU Men's Basketball 72-63 Win

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DULUTH, Minn. (WLUC) – The Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball team took on Southwest Minnesota State University Saturday afternoon and used a 14 point run to open the second half on their way to a 72-63 win over the Mustangs.

Senior Marcus Matelski (Boyne Falls, Mich.) paced the offense with a career high 18 points. Senior Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill.) added 11 points.

Junior Alec Fruin (Beloit, Wis.) and sophomore Dolapo Olayinka (Chicago, Ill.) chipped in with nine points each. Fruin also posted career highs with 10 rebounds and seven assists.

As a team, the Wildcats shot 52% from behind the three point line, hitting 11 threes on the day.

Senior Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill.) got things started with a layup, then freshman Noah Parcher (La Crosse, Wis.) hit a three but the Mustangs were able to keep it tied at 5-5 two minutes in. Two minutes later, SMSU held a 10-5 lead until Fruin made a layup, and Matelski made a three to tie it again, 10-10 at the 14:33 mark.

Taylor then answered a Mustang basket with a three, and sophomore Troy Summers (Grayling, Mich.) made two free throws in response to SMSU scores which gave the Wildcats a 15-14 lead with 12:38 to go in the half.

The Mustangs pulled ahead 20-15 but Parcher sank a free throw followed by a Myles jumper which made it 20-18 with eight minutes left. SMSU followed with another run before Olayinka stopped it with a layup with 4:18 to play, moving the score to a 23-20 Mustang lead.

The teams continued to trade baskets through the remaining four minutes with Olayinka hitting a three with eight seconds left in the half and the Mustangs answering five seconds later to make the score 30-30 at the half.

To start the second half, Matelski hit back to back threes. Parcher then added a layup before a third Matelski three. Fruin then followed with his own three to give NMU a 44-30 lead less than four minutes into the half.
After a Mustang three, Olayinka sank two free throws but SMSU cut into the lead, 46-37. The teams continued to trade points with SMSU able to cut the lead down to 54-49 with 8:51 to go.

The Mustangs were able to cut the lead down to eight points but never got closer as the Wildcats powered to a 72-63 victory.

The Wildcats are now 2-2 on the season while SMSU falls to 1-3. NMU enjoys time away from action before they head to Alaska for the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic, played at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

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