Thanks to some impressive second-half shot-making, the Northern Michigan University men's basketball team came back to top Hillsdale College 80-68 Wednesday evening at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena.
Hillsdale enters a brief Thanksgiving Break with a 3-2 record. Brief, because the team is right back in action at home at 3:00 Sunday against Saginaw Valley State.
The first half was a tough, well-played contest between both teams, with Hillsdale heading into the locker room with a 35-34 lead. A layup by sophomore guard Connor Hill gave the Chargers a nine-point cushion, 51-42, six minutes into the second half.
But from there, a talented Wildcat squad took over, going on a 20-2 run to explode into a 62-53 lead seven minutes later. Many of the shots NMU made were well-defended by Hillsdale, and had a high degree of difficulty. But the Wildcats were up to the task, countering Hillsdale's strong defense with solid shot-making from all points on the floor.
The Wildcats shot 63 percent from the field in the second half (12-for-19) and made 18 of their 19 free throws to maintain the lead after taking it.
Hillsdale played hard, grabbing 10 offensive rebounds and forcing 12 turnovers while committing 10 itself.
Senior Gordon Behr played a strong game on both ends, scoring a season-high 19 points, with 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a blocked shot. He was 7-for-11 from the field and made three 3-point field goals, also a season-best.
PHOTO: MaryKate Drews