NMU men’s hoops: Newell leads Wildcats to first GLIAC win

MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University junior Justin Newell poured in 27 points to lead the Wildcats to their first GLIAC win of the season in five tries, beating Tiffin 72-57 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.

Newell hit 8 of 15 from the field and 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, as well as 7-of-8 free throws to give NMU its second win in nine games this season.

“Well, it always feels good to win,” NMU head coach Bill Sall said. “I was excited tonight, but our guys played really hard. I thought the effort was outstanding.

“Overall we did a good job of buying in and playing with a lot of effort. I am happy for our guys because when you work that hard you want to be rewarded.”

Northern (2-7 overall, 1-4 in GLIAC) only shot 36 percent (18 of 50) from the floor, but was able to take advantage of 18 Tiffin (5-5, 1-4) turnovers and turn them into 18 points. A 41-39 edge on the boards helped the Wildcats as well.

The ‘Cats finished 7 of 16 (43.8 percent) from the 3-point range and 29 of 38 (76.3 percent) from the free throw line.

NMU sophomore guard Terry Nash and freshman guard Marcus Hall each added 10 points while senior forward Michael Smith led the ‘Cats with seven rebounds.

Defensively, junior guard Ethan Blackwell finished with four steals to lead NMU, which held Tiffin to 34.5-percent shooting from the field on 55 attempts and 23.1-percent shooting on 13 3-point attempts.

The Dragons, who trailed 30-25 at halftime, only hit 16-of-23 free throws as well.

Joe Graessle led the Dragons with 22 points and four steals.

NMU returns to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday when it hosts Ohio Dominican at the BEC.