MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball used a 27-8 run to close out the first and captured their third-straight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory after defeating rival Michigan Technological University 63-59 Saturday afternoon.
| STAT LEADERS
Senior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn.) led all scorers with 23 points, making 6-6 from the free throw line, and also posted three assists and had two steals. Junior Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill.) added 13 points. Redshirt freshman Troy Summers (Grayling, Mich.) aided the effort with eight points and seven rebounds.
Junior Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill.) notched 12 rebounds on the day, his third time reaching double-figures on the glass in the past four games. He also tallied two blocked shots.
| GETTING STARTED
Summers scored for NMU but nine points from Michigan Tech gave the Huskies a 9-2 lead early in the game. Taylor then made his first three but another three from MTU made it 12-5 four minutes into the game.
Echols answered with a three and two free throws, but the Huskies hit another from behind the arc to go ahead 15-10. They then pushed their lead out to 22-10 with 12 minutes to go in the half.
| GOING FOR A RUN
On the next possession, Echols made a three but MTU answered with two free throws. Sophomore Alec Fruin (Beloit, Wis.) responded with a three-pointer and Taylor made another three before Summers scored twice in the paint to make it 24-23 at the 7:27 mark.
On the next NMU possession after a Michigan Tech timeout, Taylor made a layup to give NMU their first lead of the game, 25-24 with 7:14 to go in the first half. Howard extended the lead with two free throws and Johnson made his first basket of the game to put NMU ahead 29-24. Tech finally scored again by hitting a jumper to make it a 29-26 Wildcat lead with 4:49 to play.
Echols answered the Tech score with a layup but MTU responded with another score. NMU then got a three-pointer from both Taylor and Echols to go ahead 37-28 with a little over a minute to play. Tech added a jumper in the final minute to make it 37-30 at halftime.
In total, the Wildcats finished the first half on a 27-8 run over the final 12 minutes, including a 15-2 run to take the lead.
| THE SECOND HALF
MTU scored five points early in the half before Taylor made a jumper and Johnson sank a free throw to make it 40-37 after another Tech score. Johnson and Echols both added two baskets over the next few minutes to give NMU a 48-37 lead with 11:15 to go.
Tech answered with a three, but Summers scored inside and junior Marcus Matelski (Boyne Falls, Mich.) made a three to make it 53-40 with nine minutes to go. The Huskies answered with five points before Fruin scored again with five minutes to play, making the NMU lead 55-45.
After an MTU basket, junior Kenton Mack (Algonquin, Ill.) made a free throw at the 3:32 mark to keep the Wildcats up 56-47. Echols then exchanged free throws and a layup with the Huskies to make the score 60-51 with two minutes to play.
Michigan Tech pulled within 60-56 but Echols sank two more free throws with 17 seconds to go and Fruin added one from the line. Tech hit a three late but it wasn't enough and the Wildcats captured the 63-59 victory.
| UP NEXT
Northern Michigan improves to 11-7 on the year and 6-5 in the GLIAC while Michigan Tech drops to 9-9 this year, 4-7 in the conference. The Wildcats will now hit the road for a week as they head to new GLIAC foe University of Wisconsin-Parkside Thursday night and Purdue University-Northwest Saturday.