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Wednesday August 17, 2022
SENIORS SHINE! Wildcats Complete Big Weekend

Stories for both Saturday and Thursday games written by NMU Sports Information. Click the AUDIO buttons to hear RRN interviews with Nick Wagner and Coach Matt Majkzak. Also hear interviews from Thursday's win with Max Bjorklund and Carson Smith.

SATURDAY GAME RECAP

MARQUETTE, Mich -
 The Wildcats hosted the SVSU Cardinals on senior night and commanded play from the tip-off on their way to an 88-62 victory, improving the 'Cats to a 14-11 record.
 
Senior John Kerr entered exclusive territory tonight, surpassing 2,000 career collegiate points.

Both the 'Cats seniors came out hot to start the game. Senior John Kerr opened the scoring for the 'Cats after working himself to the free-throw line and hitting a midrange jumper off a Ben Wolf assist. The following points came from fellow senior Nick Wagner, draining a three-pointer from deep.
 
The 'Cats jumped out to a quick 11-3 lead, with two more three-pointers coming from Max Bjorklund and Nick Wagner.
 
Carson Smith's first two shots of the game were back to back three-pointers assisted by Nick Wagner and Brian Parzych, extending the 'Cats lead to 13.
 
At the 10 minute mark of the first half, the Wildcats own a 26-10 lead, with Ben Wolf adding a jumper from the paint off a Brian Parzych dish.
 
Nick Wagner's hand remained hot on senior night, converting back to back three-pointers to give him 12 points and extend the 'Cats lead to 19.
 
Justin Brookens found the score sheet with just under 4 minutes to go converting a smooth mid-range jumper and giving the 'Cats a commanding 21 point lead.
 
A Justin-to-Justin connection capped off the scoring for the 'Cats in the first half, with Justin Kuehl filling the basket off a Justin Brookens assist.
 
The Wildcats go into the locker room with a 46-22 lead, shooting 46% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. The 'Cats out-rebounded the Cardinals 24-16, with four 'Cats each having four rebounds, and only committed five fouls to SVSU's nine.
 
Senior Nick Wagner leads the 'Cats in points at the half with 12, shooting 50% from the field and 57% from deep. Justin Smith and Carson Smith both tallied 8 points. Justin Brookens leads the team with 5 assists.

Max Bjorklund opened the second half scoring for the 'Cats, hitting both his shots at the line.
 
Nick Wagner makes a strong move to the basket for a layup, giving him 14 on the night and extending the 'Cats lead to 23.
 
Senior John Kerr's back-to-back field goals give him 14 points on the night and extend the home team's lead to 25.
 
Nick Wagner fakes a shot from the corner, makes a defender miss, and lays a sweet underhand dish to Ben Wolf who lays down an electrifying dunk that gets the bench on their feet.
 
Back-to-back three-balls from Nick Wagner and Justin Brookens added to the 'Cats lead, making it 68-39 halfway through the 2nd.
 
John Kerr finds an offensive board and puts it back, giving him 16 points and a Wildcat lead of 30. With this basket, Kerr eclipsed the 2,000 career point mark over his collegiate career.
 
Senior night magic continues with a senior-to-senior connection as John Kerr finds Nick Wagner in the corner for a triple, giving Wagner 22 points and the 'Cats an 81-50 lead.
 
A Tre Harvey bucket gives the 'Cats 88 points on the night, and the team cruised to an 88-62 victory on senior night.
 
The Wildcats shot 44.8% from the field and 37.5% from deep and hit 13 of 15 free throws. The 'Cats lead the game 97% of the time, and had the largest lead of 33 points.

Seniors John Kerr and Nick Wagner led the way on senior night. Along with surpassing 2,000 career points, Kerr had 18 points, shooting 8 of 9 from the field and hitting his lone three-point attempt to go along with 14 rebounds and 2 assists. Nick Wagner had 22 points, going 7 for 15 from the field and hitting 6 threes to go with his 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
 
Justin Brookens had 8 points to go with 4 rebounds and 7 assists, and Max Bjorklund had 12 points to go with his 2 rebounds and assist.

THURSDAY GAME RECAP
 
Marquette, Mich. - 
The Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball team handled business in a 65-53 win over Wayne State in a GLIAC matchup. 
 
John Kerr opened the scoring for the 'Cats on a triple from the corner on a beautiful dish from Justin Brookens.
 
A few trips later Carson Smith stroked a three from the top of the key to give the 'Cats a 8-2 lead.
 
After a few dribble moves Justin Brookens nailed a three from the right wing to make the score 13-12 'Cats.
 
Justin Kuehl had a steal that turned into a two handed dunk on the other end to make the score 19-14 'Cats.
 
Max Bjorklund got a strong rebound and threw a beautiful outlet pass to Justin Brookens who drove the lane and made a scoop shot layup.
 
Carson Smith followed the missed jumpshot, got the rebound, and made a two point jump shot to beat the first half buzzer. That shot cut the halftime deficit to one at 27-28.
 
Carson Smith led the way in the first half with 9 points and 3 boards. Justin Brookens added 5 points along with an assist.
 
After a 6-0 run by the Warriors, Justin Kuehl broke the scoring drought for the 'Cats with a triple on an assist from Max Bjorklund. Warriors 34-30.
 
John Kerr grabbed the offensive rebound and went back up with it for two.
 
Justin Brookens found Carson Smith in transition for a three. The very next possession, Max Bjorklund tripled to put the 'Cats up 41-38.
 
A pair of Carson Smith free throws grew the 'Cats lead to 45-40.
 
Max Bjorklund hit a tough baseline jumper, he followed that up with a three pointer. The 'Cats led 52-45.
 
Bjorklund nailed a tough stepback jumper.  That jumper gave him his 1000th point of his career. 
 
The Wildcats pulled away late in the second half to come out on top with a 65-53 win.
 
The Wildcats went 10-11 ( 91%) from the free throw line down the stretch.
 
Carson Smith led the way with a game high 19 points. Smith also added 7 rebounds, while shooting 42.9% from beyond the arc.
 
Max Bjorklund added 13 points along with 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
 
Justin Brookens added 9 of his own along with 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
 
The 'Cats went 18-23 (78%) from the free throw line, and got a huge contribution from off the bench with 29 bench points.





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