Photo by Seth Nichols
(MARQUETTE, Mich.) – A second half surge led Walsh to 20-point win as the Cavaliers downed Northern Michigan 80-60 to start GLIAC play Thursday night. Walsh evened up to 2-2 on the year while the Wildcats dropped to 1-3 on the year.
With the score separated just by four points at 31-27 at the half, the Cavaliers jumped out to a double-digit lead early in the second half. A big reason for that was three offensive rebounds that generated into seven second chance points. The first of those came from Robert Puleikis 14 seconds into the half. After a trey by Jesse Hardin Jr., another Puleikis board on the offensive end led to a 3-pointer by Chall Montgomery.
Will Parker added another basket after his own offensive board to give Walsh a 43-33 lead with 16:34 to go in the game. That started an 8-0 run to help the Cavaliers stretch the game out to a 16-point lead.
The Cavaliers' defense also forced Northern Michigan off its game. The Wildcats came in with a 43.1 percent success rate outside the arc, but they made just one 3-pointer on 15 attempts in the game.
Free throws also hurt Northern Michigan as the Wildcats made 15-of-26 from the charity stripe.
Hardin Jr. led the way for Walsh with his second double-double of the season. He scored a game-high 23 points with 17 markers scored in the second half. On the glass, he pulled down 13 caroms with nine in the first half.
Chall Montgomery and Zac Carter also reached double figures for the Cavaliers with 14 points each. Montgomery was 5-of-7 from the field and three rebounds shy of a double-double.
Naba Echols led Northern Michigan with 20 points.
Walsh returns to action at Michigan Tech on Saturday. Tip-off with the Huskies is set for 3 p.m.