Wildcat Men Take Down Top-Seeded Ferris State, 70-69, In GLIAC Quarterfinals

Sports

March 3, 2020

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — In the classic one versus eight matchup, the eighth-seeded Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team upset the top-seed in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference and No. 11 nationally Ferris State University on their home court, 70-69, Tuesday night. 

With the win, the men advance to the league semifinals later this week where they will face Northwood University.

The Wildcat men allowed just three baskets through the first six minutes but trailed the Bulldogs, 12-7 with 13:43 to play in the half as Ferris State went 6-for-6 from the line.

The Bulldogs would extend their lead throughout the remainder of the half but the Wildcats were able to stay within five points of the league foe, trailing 36-31 at the half.

Though the first 20 minutes of play, the men were shooting 37.0 percent, compared to their rival’s 34.4 percent success rate.

Senior Sam Taylor led the team in points with 14, including a 55.6 percent shooting rate from the field, or five of nine shots. He also posted two steals in the first half to lead the team.

Carson Wonders picked up a block in the half for the team’s lone block through 20 minutes while adding two defensive rebounds to his tally.

The team opened the second half with a three point shot from Ben Wolf to come within four points of the lead, followed by a defensive stop and made layup from Dolapo Olayinka to make things 38-36 less than two minutes into the half.

Wolf hit another three-point jumper with 10:04 remaining as the Wildcats drew back within two, 53-51 with an assist going to Noah Parcher.

Dolapo then tied things up at 55-all with a dunk following a pair of free throws from Parcher.

After the Bulldogs went up by two again, Sam Taylor‘s jump shot made it 57-57 with 7:21 to play. A layup shortly after from Taylor gave the Wildcats the lead, 59-57, with 7:09 to play in the second half.

Wolf hit his fourth three-pointer of the night to give his team the 62-57 lead with just over six minutes left in the game. 

With three minutes left in the half, the Bulldogs tied things up, 63-63 on a made layup before they took the lead, 65-63 shortly after.

Fouled outside the arc, Olayinka hit all three free throw shots with 41 seconds left to give the Wildcats the 66-65 lead. The Bulldogs answered with a free throw of their own to knot things at 66-all but Olayinka’s made layup with 25 seconds to play gave his team the 68-66 lead and Taylor added to that with a pair of free throws of his own with six seconds left.

The Bulldogs hit a three-point shot right after as the Wildcats held the 70-69 lead with mere seconds remaining on the clock.

Not seeing a lane to inbound the ball in the back court, the Wildcats called another timeout but the ball was stolen with three seconds to play by a Bulldog defender.

A missed shot at the buzzer by the home team gave the Wildcats the final edge, taking the GLIAC Quarterfinal game, 70-69.

With a career high 22 points in the victory, redshirt-freshman Ben Wolf led the team in points while posting the first double-double of his collegiate career with an additional 11 rebounds. He also accounted for a block and a steal in the win while shooting 63.6 percent from the field.

Taylor also eclipsed 20 points, tallying 21 of his own and making seven of 12 shots, posting the most attempts of all Wildcats on Tuesday night. 

The men will now face fourth-seeded Northwood this Saturday, March 7 in the GLIAC Semifinal game. The winner of that matchup will advance to the league championship game the following night. 

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