MARQUETTE, Mi. Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball outscored Davenport University 31-18 in the first quarter on their way to a 77-63 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory.
Senior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) paced the Wildcats with 25 points while notching eight rebounds. Senior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn.) had 13 points and four assists while junior Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill.) tallied 10 points.
Junior Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill.) posted a career-high seven blocks and had a team-best 11 rebounds. He also added nine points and four assists to his effort.
THE FIRST HALF
Redshirt freshman Troy Summers (Grayling, Mich.) scored the first basket and Howard followed with two free throws to start the game. After a layup from DU, Howard made his first career three-pointer to give NMU a 7-2 lead.
Johnson added two baskets before DU made a free throw and layup to narrow the game to 11-5 with 12:10 on the clock. Taylor responded with two free throws and a three-pointer to make it 16-5 with nine minutes to go in the half. The teams traded layup, with Taylor scoring for NMU to make the score 18-9.
Sumers then made a layup, followed by a Howard free throw and a three-pointer from sophomore Alec Fruin (Beloit, Wis.) to give NMU a 24-9 lead with six minutes left. Summers added another layup, followed by a jumper from Taylor, another layup by Summers gave NMU a 12-0 run and moved the lead up to 30-9 with four minutes to go.
DU closed out the half with a 9-0 run until Johnson closed out the half with a free throw to send NMU into the break leading 31-18.
THE SECOND HALF
DU started the second half on a run to pull within 31-30 but Johnson made a free throw to stop the run. Johnson made two more free throws but DU was able to tie the score, 34-34 at the 16:22 mark. Johnson hit a jumper to give NMU back the lead. The teams traded baskets until DU eventually to a 39-38 lead with 13:25 to play.
Junior Marcus Matelski (Boyne Falls, Mich.) wouldn't allow the lead DU lead to last as he hit a three-pointer on the next possession to put NMU back on top, 41-39. Johnson and Matelski then added jumpers and Johnson converted the old-fashioned three-pointer to push the NMU lead up to 48-39.
DU answered with a jumper and two free throws before Johnson made a jumper at the 9:20 mark. After trading free throws, DU hit a three to pull within 54-48 but Echols responded with a three-pointer and a jumper. He then added a layup after two Panther free throws to make the score 61-50 with six minutes to go.
Howard added a jumper, and Johnson hit a layup to follow two more DU free throws. Davenport hit a three-pointer but Fruin answered with two free throws for the Wildcats. DU scored again before an Echols jumper, then Davenport added two more free throws to make it 69-59 with three minutes to play.
The Wildcats sank free throws down the stretch and Fruin sealed the deal with a steal and dunk to give NMU a 77-63 victory.
NMU improves to 9-7 on the season and are now 3-4 in the league with Davenport falls to 13-3 and 6-3 in the conference. The Wildcats return to action Saturday to take on Grand Valley State University at 3 p.m., hosted by Culver's.