ANOTHER NAILBITER: 'Cats Outlast Purdue NW
This story was written by NMU Sports Informaytion. Click the thumbnails to see the video and RRN's Casey Ford call of the final minute, and to hear post-game comments from Coach Matt Majkrzk. (NMU Photo)
MARQUETTE, Mich. - The Northern Michigan men's basketball team overcame an 11-16 (68.8%) three-point shooting performance from Purdue Northwest, scoring the final eight points of the game in a comeback 69-66 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Berry Events Center.
Purdue Northwest held a 66-61 lead with 2:32 to play, but as its been seen several times already this season, the Green and Gold roared back in the final few minutes for a thrilling come-from-behind win.
The comeback effort was once again led by Dylan Kuehl (22 points) and Max Weisbrod (20), as the two combined for 42 points including the final 15 for the Green and Gold. Weisbrod also dished out six assists and pulled down seven boards, while Kuehl led the team on the glass with eight rebounds and added two blocks and two steals. PNW's Brendan Temple scored a game-high 24 points while Kai Steinman and Jaylon Gentry each hit four triples off the bench.
With a hot-shooting team on the other side, Northern had to battle to find points, and they did just that, tying a season-high with 14 offensive rebounds while holding the Pride to just two. The 'Cats also forced PNW into 13 turnovers while only committing seven, leading to a 22-9 advantage in points off turnovers.
It wasn't promising early for the home team, as the first half ended with Northern being down 36-28. NMU led for the majority early on and found themselves up 13-5 just minutes into the game, but the Pride battled back quickly and efficiently.
The Green and Gold could not get anything going as they missed the last eight field goals of the opening half, resulting in a 10-2 run and an extended 20-8 run over the last 10 minutes of the half by the Pride as they flipped the script and carried an eight point lead into halftime.
Northern went cold from behind the arc as they shot 4-16 from deep, compared to a remarkable 7-8 clip from the Pride, led by Jaylon Gentry scoring 12 points on 4-4 shooting from deep. Carson Smith led the 'Cats with eight points.
The Wildcats didn't take long to take the lead back, needing only two and half minutes out of halftime to regain the advantage. That lead held until the 6:33 mark of the second half when PNW regained the lead. Back-to-back threes from the visitors put Northern in a five-point hole with 3:18 to play, but the Pride would only score one field goal the rest of the way. The visitors would miss the potential game-tying shot as time expired to complete NMU's comeback win 69-66.
The triumph moves the No. 16 nationally-ranked Wildcats to 19-6 overall and 12-1 in the GLIAC.
Despite some close battles lately, the Berry Events Center remains one of the best home courts in college hoops. Over the last 24 games, the Wildcats are an outstanding 23-1 (95.8%), with the lone loss a five-point defeat to GVSU last season.