December 18, 2003

Billy Hill Gives 'Cats An Early Christmas Present


 

DEPERE, Wis. â€Ã‚“ The Northern Michigan Universitymenâ€Ã‚™s basketball team might have received an early Christmas present onThursday night at St. Norbert when Billy Hill unwrapped a jumper with aboutthree seconds left in overtime to defeat the Green Knights by a score of 81-79to snap the â€Ã‚˜Cats four-game losing skid. NMU is now at .500 for the season at5-5 while St. Norbert falls to 2-4.

The visitors from Marquette, Mich. were like the Grinch at Christmas asthe â€Ã‚˜Cats built a 39-26 advantage at halftime on 50 percent shooting from thefloor (13-26).  Hill had 12 of histeam-high 21 points during the first 20 minutes of play.  NMU was shooting a higher percentage from thethree-point arc at 57.1 percent (4-7) than from the field as a whole in thefirst half.  From the free throw line theâ€Ã‚˜Cats made nine of their 10 attempts. Marco Volcy had eight of his team-high nine rebounds after the first 20minutes of play.

The second half started the sameway for the â€Ã‚˜Cats as they registered their largest lead of the game at 45-26after Antwuan Holt and Steve Watts connected on back-to-back three-pointers lessthan a minute into the half.

But, the joy of the Holidays wouldstart for the home team as the Green Knights went on a 19-3 run over a span ofabout five minutes to cut the â€Ã‚˜Cats lead to 48-45 with 14:37 left in regulation.  Ricky Volcy made a tip-in which was followedby a Hill three-pointer and that was followed by Milan Azanjacâ€Ã‚™s made freethrow in two attempts to give the â€Ã‚˜Cats the lead at 54-45 with 12:49 left.

After three ties in a little overtwo minutes of play the home team took the lead at 62-60 with 6:31 left in the game.  The Green Knights held the lead until Wattsmade three free throws as he sank his third with 3:26left in regulation to make it 67-66.  Theâ€Ã‚˜Cats would hold the lead until the final seconds of regulation.

With the score 71-68, Holt wascalled for a foul with four seconds left in regulation as Aaron Faulkner wasfouled attempting a three-pointer. Ã‚  Faulknermade all three free throw attempts to send the game to overtime with the scoretied at 71-all.

In the overtime period the â€Ã‚˜Catsscored 10 points as they were five-of-six from the floor.  Hill and M. Volcy both had four points on a combinedfour-of-four from the floor.  The GreenKnights missed a three-point attempt as the final horn was going off.

For the night Hill was 8-11 fromthe floor, 3-4 from the arc and 2-2 from the charity stripe.  M. Volcy added 14 points in the win.  Watts with his 13markers and Azanjac with his 10 rounded out the double-digit scorers for theâ€Ã‚˜Cats on the night.  Azanjac also pulleddown eight rebounds on the night.

For the game NMU was 25-55 from thefloor (45.5 percent), 7-17 from beyond the arc (41.2 percent) and 24-30 fromthe free throw line (80 percent).  Theâ€Ã‚˜Cats used their inside presence to control the boards by a 41 to 27 reboundingmargin.

The â€Ã‚˜Cats will not be in actionagain until the new year when they face St. Cloudon January 3 at the Berry Events Center.

 

 

 

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Prepared By
Dave Faiella
Sports Information Director
906-227-1013