MaRQUETTE, Mi. Northern Michigan University handled a late run from Wayne State University in Saturday's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup to take a 58-55 victory.
Junior Alec Fruin (Beloit, Wis.) led the Wildcats with 16 points, making a career-high five three-pointers on the day. He also added six rebounds and two assists.
Senior Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill.) added 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals while senior Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill.) chipped in with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Howard also tallied three blocked shots.
Senior Marcus Matelski (Boyne Falls, Mich.) made three from behind the arc for nine points.
The Wildcats combined to make 11 threes, including seven in the first half, while keeping the Warriors to just 20%.
BUILDING A LEAD
Howard got the game started with a layup then Matelski made back to back threes around baskets from Wayne State to give NMU an 8-6 lead five minutes into the game. Fruin added another three which Howard followed with a layup while Wayne State made another basket.
After a free throw by Howard, Olayinka dunked to move the Wildcats up 16-10 before a three from the Warriors. Fruin answered it with two threes around another WSU score before sophomore Troy Summers (Grayling, Mich.) made a jumper which give NMU the 24-17 lead with six minutes to play.
After another WSU three, Fruin made his fourth three and Matelski hit his third which gave the Wildcats a 30-20 lead. Olayinka closed out the half with two free throws while the Warriors scored one more jumper to make the score 32-22 heading into the break.
HOLDING ON FOR THE W
Wayne State roared back to start the second half but Fruin hit another from behind the arc to make the score 35-29 and slow the WSU run. A free throw from WSU preceded a three from Taylor with 15 minutes left to play, but the Warriors pulled within 38-34 two minutes later.
With 13 minutes to play, Howard sank a three and Summers scored twice to increase the team's lead to 43-36 after another WSU basket. Taylor exchanged baskets with the guests before Wayne State rallied to pull within 47-43.
Redshirt freshman Ben Wolf (Naperville, Ill.) hit two free throws with 6:25 to play, but the Warriors soon made it 49-47 with less than five minutes to play. Taylor then added a free throw and Howard made a layup, then Taylor answered a Wayne State basket by hitting a three with a minute left which made the score 55-49.
Wayne State pulled within 55-52 but Taylor made two free throws. After the Warriors made three free throws to make it 57-55, Fruin made a free throw. Wayne State's last second three was missed to give NMU a 58-55 victory and their second victory to open 2020.
The Wildcats improve to 6-7 and 3-2 in the conference while Wayne State falls to 4-5 overall, 1-4 in the GLIAC. NMU continues GLIAC action next week as they hit the road to visit Purdue University Northwest Thursday night and University of Wisconsin Parkside Saturday.