MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan men’s basketball team knocked off Hillsdale 70–64 Saturday at the Berry Events Center. Freshman guard Naba Echols continued his hot streak, leading the team in scoring with 22 points. Afterwards Coach Bill Sall and his men talked about the keys to their clutch performance.
“I’m more happy about the way we defended tonight at the end and a key steal by Naba and a key steal by Donnell Cegers to really get us over the hump. Those plays were because we scrambled and we defended like we needed to in the stretch of the game so I’m really happy with how we played down there,” Sall said.
“In moments like that, you got to step up and make big plays. knock down free throws and such. Coach has been preaching all week, like Thursday, we got to learn how to win close games because we’ve been losing,” said Echols.
The Wildcats now sit at 3–9 in the conference, as they prepare for a grueling stretch where they play three games in five days. But they aren’t phased by the challege.
“The thing about our team is that we still come every day to work. We see the games, we watch film and the games we lose, we see we just got to make those plays in the end. Today we actually made them. We were playing a great player today and he made some tough plays but as a team, we stayed together and made big plays,” point guard Terry Nash said.
“You have to understand, to get a win is the biggest thing about it right now. We got to win because all the work that these guys have put in. I got to give them credit. They battled through a lot of things and they still continue to come out every night and play. They got to get rewarded with a win so that was huge,” said Sall.
NMU is back on the court Thursday as they travel to Lake Superior State.