MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team forced a strong comeback in the second half to defeat Northwood University, 84-72, Saturday afternoon. With the win, the men move to 5-5 on the season and in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference play.
NU jumped out to an early 11-4 over the Wildcats as Max Bjorklund scored the opening baskets for the home team.
The Timberwolves continued their dominant stretch until about five minutes left in the first half when the Wildcats connected to cut the lead to four points, trailing 29-33. A late shooting foul on NMU would send them to the locker room looking to overcome the 35-29 deficit.
NU leapt out to a nine-point lead early in the second half before the Wildcats stormed back to tie things up as Bjorklund drew the extra shot, fouled as he hit a layup, 46-46. The home team stood tall in the defensive end, grabbing the rebound before Sam Schultz hit a two-point shot to take their first lead of the game.
After NU tied things up at 48-all, Bjorklund sank a three from the corner for the 51-48 lead. The Wildcats extended their lead when Schultz sank a jumper for the 53-48 score.
Ben Wolf was fouled as he sent up a shot for the extra point attempt, hitting nothing but net on the shot to make it a 58-54 Wildcat lead with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation.
NMU continued to hold the slight edge as Schultz picked up his fourth basket of the afternoon for the 65-60 score.
The Wildcats posted their largest lead of the game after a series of shots from Dolapo Olayinka and Bjorklund gave their team the 10-point lead with 4:14 to play in the contest, 70-60.
The Wildcats finished off the afternoon with 84 points, including a team and career-best performance from Bjorklund who boasted 30 points in the win. Three other Wildcats reached double-figures Saturday night as Tre Harvey (15 pts.), Olayinka (11 pts.) and Schultz (10 pts.) all surpassed the mark.
Wolf, who picked up seven points in the contest, also blocked three Timberwolf attempts for the teams only three blocks of the game.
NMU finished the afternoon off shooting 50.8 percent from the field and an even 50 percent from beyond the arc as both Harvey and Bjorklund registered three a piece.
The two teams return to the court Sunday afternoon in the regular series finale as the Wildcat men’s basketball squad looks for the sweep.