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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Offensive rally seals upset over Tech

The men’s basketball team has faced injuries throughout much of the season, and with only eight members eligible to play, the ’Cats overcame that setback and took advantage of the home crowd to earn a victory over rival Michigan Tech in a 59-55 win.

Senior forward TJ Cameron (1) has a 3-point percentage of .468, making 22 out of 47 baskets this season. Cameron has also contributed 126 points.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, the Berry Events Center held nearly triple the attendance of previous season men’s basketball games when 923 fans gathered to support the rival game between the Northern Michigan Wildcats and the Michigan Tech Huskies.

The teams met in a game that went back and forth between the two rivals with 14 lead changes. The game resulted in a 59-55 Wildcat win to upset the now 10-5 conference Huskies.

Head coach Doug Lewis said the effort going into the win was a victory in itself after the rough stretch that the team had faced.

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“More than anything, our guys felt great because of the adversity we’ve been through with all of the injuries,” Lewis said. “They have continued to work hard and having it pay off was a big relief to our young guys who are growing up and understanding what it takes at this level.”

Junior forward Matt Craggs finished the game with a team-high of 20 points for the win. Craggs added eight rebounds, two steals and two assists. Junior forward Scooter Johnson chipped in nine points and eight rebounds for the team.

Freshman guard Stephen Pelkofer added 11 points, nine of which he scored off of three-point shots. The first shot of the game came after Pelkofer took a three-point shot from behind the arc, putting the ’Cats at a lead within the first minute of the game.

The Wildcats held the largest lead of the game at four minutes into play when they were up by a nine-point margin. Going into the second half, Michigan Tech was up 28-27 over the ’Cats, but the lead did not last long. In the second half, the team leads changed 11 times as the men battled to the final buzzer for the victory.

Lewis said the rivalry out on the court played a big factor in how close the game was.

“The main thing is that this was a rival game and you have to be ready to play,” Lewis said. “Rival games go down to the wire, and this is going to give us the confidence going into two tough games this weekend. Now we know that we can beat any team in this conference.”

NMU took down 29 boards in comparison to the 23 from the Huskies. The ’Cats also beat the Huskies from the free-throw line, where NMU was 79 percent with 11 out of 14 free throws and Tech was at 71 percent.

With only eight turnovers, the Wildcats handled the ball better against Michigan Tech than they had in previous games throughout the season, where the team has racked up around 15 turnovers in several nights of play.

Sophomore forward Kendall Jackson said the Wildcats took the lead in every portion of the game on Saturday afternoon.

“We controlled Ali (Hader), their big man,” Jackson said. “We played together as a team and limited turnovers. We won every aspect of the game. The large turnout pumped us up to play and we were happy to beat our rivals.”

This upcoming weekend the Wildcats face Grand Valley State University at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 at the Berry Events Center. The ’Cats then play at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 against Ferris State University in another home game.

Senior forward TJ Cameron said the win against Michigan Tech should work as a team drive for the remainder of the season, especially in some of the tougher games.

“We knew what we had to do to get the win for the fans (last weekend) and it all played out,” Cameron said. “In rivalry games, all records go out the window, and after the game there was a lot of excitement. It was crazy in the locker room. Now we are going to continue trying to win every game, and now that the momentum is positive hopefully it’ll carry over.”

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