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Monday February 26, 2024
DOWN TO THE WIRE: 'Cats Fall In Saginaw, 87-85

This story was written by Saginaw Valley State Athletics. SVSU Photo. Click the AUDIO button to hear Justin Brookens player spotlight interview.

The Saginaw Valley State University men's basketball team trailed nearly the entire way against Northern Michigan University but rallied for a critical Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win Thursday at the James E. O'Neill Jr. Arena.

The Cardinals tied the game with 1:30 to play for the first time since the opening tip, as Tre Garrett stole the ball in the backcourt and laid it in. SVSU took its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Darnell Hoskins Jr. with 51 seconds left. NMU answered right back to tie the game on a deep 3-pointer from Nick Wagner.

The Cardinals went back in front after Delano Smith drew a foul with 18 seconds remaining and hit a pair of free throws. NMU's last-second 3-pointer missed the mark and the Cardinals closed out the 87-85 win.

The victory moves SVSU to 10-5 overall and 4-3 in the GLIAC.

How it Happened:

  • NMU went on an 11-2 run midway through the first half to build a 28-16 lead.
  • Jack Rusch drilled a 3-pointer to extend the NMU lead to 18 points with five to play in the first half.
  • The Cardinals heated up from deep late in the first half, including a 3-pointer from James Toohey with under a minute to play before the break to cut the deficit to 45-37.
  • The Cardinals kept chipping away in the second half, but NMU held the lead until Tre Garrett's steal and layup with 90 seconds to play.
  • After a block from Tyler Witz, SVSU got the ball back and Darnell Hoskins Jr. put the Cardinals up for the first time in the contest with a 3-pointer with 51 seconds to play.
  • After the Wildcats tied the game on a deep 3-pointer from Nick Wagner, Delano Smith earned a foul call on NMU to get to the line where he hit the game-winning free throws.

Inside the Box Score:

  • Darnell Hoskins Jr. finished with 23 points, including three 3-pointers.
  • Delano Smith recorded23 points on 9-of-16 shooting.
  • James Toohey added 17 points, including three 3-pointers.
  • The Cardinals were nearly perfect at the line shooting 21-of-22. SVSU was 30-of-62 from the field and 6-of-20 from deep.
  • John Kerr and Carson Smith each scored 17 points to lead the Wildcats.
  • NMU was 17-of-36 from deep, including 10 makes in the first half.
  • The Wildcats won the rebounding battle 35-31.


The Northern Michigan University men's basketball team fell just short on Thursday (Jan. 13), seeing a three-point attempt at the buzzer go off the back iron in a 87-85 defeat to Saginaw Valley State.

The shorthanded 'Cats fought hard on the road, hitting 17 triples which was one off the program record. The Cardinals battled all game and ultimately took the GLIAC match on their home court. The Wildcats dropped to 6-8 on the season and 2-5 in the GLIAC.

Carson Smith and John Kerr led the Wildcats with 17 points each. NIck Wagner added 15, and Justin Kuehl chipped in 14 off the bench.

Smith and Wagner each shot 5-8 from three. Brian Parzych, Kerr, and Kuehl each added two triples.

John Kerr led the team with eight rebounds.

Brian Parzych led the team in assists with six. He added seven rebounds and seven points.

Northern shot 17-36 (47.2%) from the three-point line, falling one triple shy of tying the program record.

Darnell Hoskins and Delano Smith led all scorers, each tallying 23 points for the Cardinals.

On the game's opening possession, Carson Smith would waste no time getting the 'Cats on the board as he hit a three-pointer. The next trip down the floor, fellow guard Nick Wagner would connect from deep.

A couple touches later, John Kerr beat his defender and layed one in off the glass on a feed from Sam Schultz. Ben Wolf would clean up an offensive miss the next time down to give the Wildcats a 10-6 lead.

Carson Smith would hit another triple giving Northern a 13-8 lead at the first media timeout at 15:01.

After the first stoppage, Justin Kuehl came in off the bench and immediately made his contribution, hitting a triple of his own to give the Wildcats an 18-12 edge. Less than a minute later, Carson Smith would continue with the hot-hand, burying his third three of the night. NMU would hold a 21-14 lead at the second media whistle.

Nearing the halfway point of the half, Smith attacked the offensive glass and got a nice tip-in to go over a defender to give him 11 points. Nick Wagner would follow that up with a step in three off a ball screen to stretch the lead to 28-16.

The 'Cats would maintain a 35-22 lead at the third meda timeout.

At the five minute mark, Jack Rusch would come in and connect from deep for the 'Cats ninth triple to stretch the lead to 40-22.

Nick Wagner would again hit from deep, his fourth triple, to give NMU a 43-28 lead with four minutes to go. The 'Cats would hold a 45-28 lead going into the last media whistle in the opening half.

The Cardinals would close the gap at the half by hitting three triples, ending the half on a 9-0 run. The Wildcats would lead 45-37.

Northern connected on ten threes in the half. Nick Wagner hit four to lead the 'Cats with 12 points. Carson Smith hit three himself and also reached double-digits in the half with 11 points.

SVSU would open half number two just like how they closed the first, scoring the first four points before Brian Parzych hit three to halt the Cardinals run.

The Wildcats would hit the half-century mark on a John Kerr layup on a driving assist from Ben Wolf. Parzych would hit a triple the next time down, but the Cardinals stayed hot on offense. At the first media timeout, the Wildcats would lead 53-48.

The Cardinals would slowly inch closer to the 'Cats, closing it to a one possession game with 13:35 to go in the half. Justin Kuehl would then hit a pair of buckets including a triple to give him 11 points and stretch the lead back to 62-54. The Cardinals would hit a triple to make it a five point game with 10:58 to play.

At the 7:58 mark, Parzych would drive and drop it off to Sam Schultz who was fouled as he touched it off the window and in, just beating the shot clock. Schultz would complete the three-point play to give NMU a 67-59 advantage.

Delano Smith would convert on an and-one to cut the lead to five, but Ben Wolf would answer right back with an and-one of his own to give NMU a 72-64 lead with six minutes left.

Carson Smith would hit his fifth three the next offensive possession for the 'Cats to give him 17 and give the Wildcats a double-digit lead.

SVSU would again find some offensive rhythm. Combined with effective full court pressure, the Cardinals cut the 'Cats lead back down to five with four minutes left in the half.

John Kerr would hit his second three followed by a layup to get the lead back to five with 2:30 to go.

SVSU would tie the game at 82 after a steal and layup.

Hoskins would hit a three with 50 seconds to give the Cardinals their first lead at 85-82. Nick Wagner would answer, hitting a deep triple to tie it with 41 seconds to go.

With 18 seconds left, Delano Smith would hit a pair of free throws to give SVSU a two-point lead.

A three from Wagner at the buzzer would just miss off the back iron for an 87-85 defeat.

NMU will finish out the weekend road trip at Wayne State on Saturday (Jan. 15) with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m.

The Wildcats will then return home next week to begin a four game homestand.

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