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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.

NMU CARES — President Brock Tessman shares his feelings on the universitys new CARE Team. Photo Courtesy of Northern Michigan University
Letter to the Editor — Our New CARE Team
Brock TessmanFebruary 23, 2024

Men’s basketball team faces top GLIAC team

After two home losses, the Wildcats look to get back in the win column when they travel to Saginaw Valley State University and Hillsdale College.

The Wildcats faced the Grand Valley State University Lakers on Thursday, Feb. 4 and lost

Sophomore guard Jordan Perez got the scoring started for the ’Cats by scoring back-to-back baskets to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead. The ’Cats jumped out to a quick 10-1 lead with triples from senior guard Donnell Cegers and junior guard Marcus Hall.

The Wildcats had a 33-27 lead at halftime, but were outscored 43-26 in the second half.

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“It was a tale of two halves,” head coach Bill Sall said. “I liked what I saw the first half. We did some good things.”

The Wildcats only shot 32 percent from the field in the second half after shooting 46.2 percent in the first half.

Freshman guard Naba Echols led the Wildcats with 14 points and Perez had 12 points and five rebounds. Cegers provided 10 points off the bench.

“They just dominated us in the interior,” Sall said. “We didn’t do a good job in the second half of figuring out who’s who. They also picked up their energy level in the second half and used their size to their advantage.”

On Saturday, Feb. 6, the Wildcats lost to the Ferris State Bulldogs 70-61.

Cegers came off the bench to provide 15 points and seven rebounds for the ’Cats. Perez scored 14, and Hall scored 13.

“We were down a few players,” Cegers said. “No. 20 on their team is a 7-footer so  we kind of slowed ourselves down and didn’t attack enough.”

In the first half, the Wildcats were down 17-15 when they went on a 6-0 run to take a 21-15 lead. The Bulldogs then went on a 9-0 run to take a 30-21 lead and forced a Wildcat timeout.

The ’Cats ended the first half on a 8-2 run, but were down 32-29 at the half.

In the second half, the Wildcats were outscored 38-32.

The Wildcats shot 42.3 percent from the field while the Bulldogs shot 47.3 percent for the game.

“They outrebounded us,” Perez said. “They had about 21 offensive rebounds coach said and that is on all of us. We have to get those rebounds in key situations.”

The Wildcats were outrebounded by the Bulldogs 41-29.

After stealing the ball with 2:15 left in the game, Cegers had a huge dunk to cut the Bulldogs’ lead from six to four, but the Bulldogs fired back with a three-pointer to increase their lead once again.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, the Wildcats play the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals at the James E. O’Neill Jr. Arena in Saginaw, Mich.

The ’Cats and Cardinals played against each other at the Berry Events Center earlier this season, and Cardinals came out on top 83-79. Echols had a career-high 31 points.

Saginaw Valley State University is in first place in the GLIAC conference with a 14-2 record and have an 18-4 record overall.

“In my opinion, they’re the most talented team in our conference,” Sall said. “I thought we did great when we played them at home of attacking them on the offensive end. We will need that same type of consistency along with a great rebounding effort.”

The ’Cats play the Hillsdale Chargers on Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena in Hillsdale, Mich.

Hillsdale is tied for seventh in the conference with an 8-8 record and a 12-8 record overall.

The teams played at the Berry Events Center in January, and the Wildcats won 70-64. Echols had 22 points to lead the ’Cats.

“Hillsdale is a well-coached team who executes incredibly well in the offensive end,” Sall said.

Sall added that Hillsdale is led by leading scorer Kyle Cooper, who scored 25 points in the January matchup, and the team did a great job of limiting Cooper’s touches and closing their shooters in the last game.

The Wildcats sit 15th in the conference and are five games behind the eighth and final playoff spot.

“Overall, this is a tough road trip, but we are looking forward to the challenge,” Sall said.

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