Nash leads Wildcats to second straight victory

Ray Bressette

File Photo (Anthony Viola/NW)
File Photo (Anthony Viola/NW)

Although suffering from flu-like symptoms leading up to Tuesday’s game, junior guard Terry Nash scored 11 points in the second half for the ’Cats leading them to a 56-53 win over the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs Tuesday, Nov. 25 at Berry Events Center.

NMU head coach Bill Sall said Nash’s performance was the game changer for the ’Cats.
“Nash was spectacular for us in the second half,” Sall said. “Battling from the flu, I didn’t even know if he was going to play. He had a lot of guts to come out the way he did and give us a spark that was unbelievable for us.”

Nash was held scoreless throughout the first half, but racked up 11 points in the second half to lead the team in scoring. Nash sustained an injury to the stomach midway through the second half, but returned to the court shortly after and played for the remainder of the game.

Nash said his performance was driven by his dedication to the team.
“Today I was challenged mentally,” Nash said. “I wasn’t feeling good all day, and when I worked my tail off I got kneed in the stomach pretty bad, but I had to tough it out for my team, as I knew they needed me out there to get the win. I’m proud of my teammates for stepping up and carrying the team.”
The Wildcats held a 25-23 lead heading into halftime, and Nash extended the ’Cats lead to 27-23 with a

layup 42 seconds into the second half, scoring his first points of the night.

The Bulldogs’ offense scored eight of the next 12 points to take a 32-29 lead off a pair of free throws from Duluth’s junior guard Pierre Newton.
The teams exchanged leads throughout the second half, and with 2:30 remaining in the game and trailing 50-48, NMU’s freshman forward Alex Sorenson sank a triple that gave the Wildcats a 51-50 lead which they maintained for the remainder of the game.

The Bulldogs’ senior center Brett Ervin attempted a three-point jump shot that would have sent the game into overtime, but the shot went wide left of the hoop, giving the Wildcats their second straight win and improving their record to 2-2.
NMU’s sophomore guard Marcus Hall scored double digits with 10 points.

Despite the win for NMU, the Bulldogs out rebounded the ’Cats 41-32 in the contest.
“If we don’t defend a rebound, we’re not going to win a game,” Sall said. “We work a lot with how we’re guarding teams and how we want to play them and I thought our guys did a good job sticking to the game plan. Although we were outrebounded, we held our own.”
The Wildcats had a 42.3 percent field goal completion, while Duluth was held to a 28.3 percent from the floor.
Hall said the team’s defensive concentration was the key to their success.

“Our coaches preached we needed to work harder on defense and make stops,” Hall said. “That was our biggest focus in order to win the game. Moving forward, we need to get some good practices in and just continue concentrating on our game plans.”