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Wednesday August 17, 2022
MAX EN FUEGO: Bjorklund's Big Day Boosts 'Cats

Click the thumbnails to hear post-game comments from Max Bjorklund and Coach Matt Majkrzak. Also hear Ben Wolf's player spotlight interview.

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. -
Max Bjorklund closed out the regular season with a memorable performance for all who watched, pouring in a career best 46 points to will the Wildcats to a 93-87 win on Saturday over the #25 ranked Ferris State Bulldogs.

Bjorklund also put himself atop the NMU record books with the best performance in one half in the history of the program. In the second half, Bjorklund scored 40 points on 14-15 shooting, 9-10 three-point shooting, and 3-3 from the line.

"Honestly, I am a big believer in God," Bjorklund said. "He was just with me tonight. I remember writing down in a little journal I keep that I would love to score 46 points in a game because that was my dad's career high in college. Obviously, he was with me tonight."

The Northern Michigan University Men's basketball team extended their winning streak to seven games and will now be home for the first round of the GLIAC playoffs on Wednesday, March 2 as they play host to Lake Superior State.

NMU rallied from 18 points down to stun the first place Bulldogs by scoring 63 second half points, 40 of them by Bjorklund.

"That was the best half of basketball I've seen in my life," NMU Coach Matt Majkrzak said. "In a game against the best defense in the conference, on the road. To have 40 points in a half, I don't know what to say. It's just unbelievble."

"My teammates found me tonight," Bjorklund said. "You can't do that by yourself. It was a team effort. Coach stressed one thing at halftime and that was to stop turning the ball over, make shots, believe in yourself, stay confident, and that's honestly what we did."

"At halftime, I said 'I think we're going to win, because I thnk we're as good as or better than them," Majkrzak said. "We lulled them to sleep with how poorly we played in the first half. But that's a farce. What happened is, Max."
  • Max Bjorklund shot 16-21 and 9-11 from deep for a career best 46 points. It was the highest scoring output in 40 years in the program.
  • It ranked tied for the sixth best scoring output in program history.
  • NMU scored a remarkable 63 points in the second half.
  • Justin Brookens added 17 points to go along with six assists and six rebounds.
  • John Kerr chipped in a double-double with a dozen points and a dozen boards.
Justin Kuehl showcased his vertical, skying high for an offensive rebound and touching it off the window for his first points. It was 20-15 FSU with 12 minutes left in the half.

Ferris continued to be stout on each end of the floor, forcing tough shot attempts for NMU and converting themselves on offense. It was 28-17 Bulldogs with 8:30 to play.

Justin Brookens found Ben Wolf on a low post cut and he converted at the rim. NMU was keeping things close at 30-24 with six minutes left in the half.

With three minutes left on the clock, Justin Brookens created separation and nailed a top of the key triple. Ferris would answer with a three of their own and the deficit remained 11 for NMU.

The top-ranked Bulldogs had Northern rattled, closing the half with a powerful showing on each end of the floor. FSU put together a 10-0 run before Brookens hit a rainbow three in the final second of the half.

Ferris State held a 45-30 edge after 20 minutes of play, but the 'Cats bounced back.

John Kerr rattled the net on the first possession of the second half to get NMU off on the right foot.

Justin Brookens threw up a lob and Ben Wolf soared high to grab the ball and flush it for a 6-0 start to the half, cutting it back to single digits at 45-36.

Max Bjorklund created separation and hit a big three to keep the pressure on the Bulldogs.

After cutting it to seven, FSU responded with five of their own to get it back to a dozen with 13 minutes left.

Max Bjorklund tripled on three straight trots down the floor to get it to 57-52 with 11:39 to play.

He could not be contained, taking a heat check and hitting the heat check. Bjorklund was rapidly up to 23 points. NMU briefly led 58-57.

FSU responded, but Justin Brookens pulled out the Uno reverse card, nailing a triple of his own. The intensity and grit was showing as the second half continued.

A dribble penetration, blowing by the defender, followed by another three ball for Bjorklund. He was white hot, up to 28 points. Six of seven three-point attempts were successful.

As hot as Bjorklund and company were, Ferris was holding their ground. It was 72-66 FSU with 7:07 to play.

Ben Wolf found open space down low and rattled the rim for two.

Bjorklund made it 7-8 from deep. A contested look did not matter as Max continued to keep NMU in the contest.

Max would continue to make a push for performance of the season in DII basketball, knocking down two more threes. He was up to 37 points on 9-10 three-point shooting. NMU led 79-77 with 3:54 to go.

Bjorklund reached 40 points with a do-it-all and-one. It remained a one possession game as the final minutes approached.

NMU held on for a 93-87 win to close out the regular season.





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