DEPERE, Wis. ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚“ The NorthernMichiganUniversitymenÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚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 ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚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 ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats built a 39-26 advantage at halftime on 50 percent shooting from thefloor (13-26). ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Hill had 12 of histeam-high 21 points during the first 20 minutes of play.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ From the free throw line theÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats made nine of their 10 attempts.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Marco Volcy had eight of his team-high nine rebounds after the first 20minutes of play.
The second half started the sameway for the ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚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 ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats lead to 48-45 with left in regulation.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Ricky Volcy made a tip-in which was followedby a Hill three-pointer and that was followed by Milan AzanjacÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s made freethrow in two attempts to give the ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚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.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The Green Knights held the lead until Wattsmade three free throws as he sank his third with left in regulation to make it 67-66.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ TheÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚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.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Faulknermade all three free throw attempts to send the game to overtime with the scoretied at 71-all.
In the overtime period the ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Catsscored 10 points as they were five-of-six from the floor.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Hill and M. Volcy both had four points on a combinedfour-of-four from the floor.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ M. Volcy added 14 points in the win.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Watts with his 13markers and Azanjac with his 10 rounded out the double-digit scorers for theÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats on the night.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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).ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ TheÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats used their inside presence to control the boards by a 41 to 27 reboundingmargin.
The ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats will not be in actionagain until the new year when they face St. Cloudon January 3 at the BerryEventsCenter.