Huskies men hold off rival Northern Michigan, 64-62

MARQUETTE — Timely shooting and final minute guile helped Michigan Tech edge Northern Michigan 64-62 in men’s basketball Monday night at Berry Events Center. The lead changed hands 12 times, but the Huskies prevailed to take a 2-0 regular season sweep over the Wildcats.

“Winning on the road is always a challenge, especially against your rival so it’s a great win,” said head coach Josh Buettner. “Some guys stepped up and made some big shots. We would have liked to make more free throws to salt it away late, but we got the win and I was proud of how our guys competed.”

After trading baskets through most of the second half, the Huskies finally gained a six-point separation after Adam Hobson dropped in a 3-pointer with just under two minutes to play. After a pair of 3-point misses by NMU, Tech made it to the free throw line but failed to put the game out of reach with 16 seconds left. Justin Brookens drove into the lane to cut the deficit back to two with 13 ticks left. Then Owen White caught a pass and was promptly fouled, sending him to line with five seconds remaining. White made both attempts but Max Bjorklund countered with an off-balance 3-pointer from well beyond the arc for Northern Michigan, bringing the score to 64-62.

The officials put 1.2 seconds on the clock and the Wildcats nearly pulled off an improbable comeback when Carson Smith intercepted Trent Bell’s in-bound pass and lifted up a shot in front of the rim as time expired. Bell was there to deflect it.

The Huskies defeated Northern Michigan in similar fashion in Houghton on January 6 after a late comeback by the Wildcats fell one point short 77-76.

Four players made it to double-figures for Michigan Tech, including Hobson with 13 points, five rebounds, one steal and one block. Owen White also tallied 13 points and passed five assists. Carter Johnston and Eric Carl each totaled 12 points and Trent Bell finished with eight. Johnston led the team with seven rebounds.

The Huskies shot 42% overall (24 for 57), including 43.5% (10 for 23) from beyond the arc. Tech struggled at the charity stripe (6-13).

John Kerr and Max Bjorklund marked 11 points apiece for the Wildcats and Justin Brookens finished with nine. NMU shot 43.1% (25 of 58).


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