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Rochester, Mich. — Carson Williams and Lavone Holland II combined to score 24 of their 40 points in the second half and Jordan Garnett had all of his 10 points after the break to help Northern Kentucky rally for an 87-83 win over Oakland on Friday night.

Williams finished with 21 points, on 8-of-13 shooting, and nine rebounds and Holland, who missed eight of 11 first-half shots, scored 11 second-half points on 5-of-9 shooting. Jeff Garrett made 5 of 6 from the field and scored 11 points in seven minutes for Northern Kentucky (10-5, 3-0 Horizon League).

Oakland (9-7, 1-2) opened a 12-point lead late in the first half and led 47-41 at the break. Williams scored eight points and Garnett hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Holland hit a jumper to give the Norse a five-point lead with 15 minutes to go — its first since midway through the first half. Garnett’s dunk extended the lead to 73-64 with 8:45 to go and Northern Kentucky held on, despite going without a field goal while committing three turnovers over the next six minutes.

Jalen Tate made back-to-back baskets before Holland hit a jumper to make it 81-76 with 36 seconds left and the Norse made 6 of 6 free throws in the final 14 seconds to seal it.

Kendrick Nunn led the Golden Grizzlies with 24 points, Martez Walker scored 19 and Jalen Hayes 17.

NKU ended a three-game skid, and is 9-9 all-time, against Oakland.

More state men

Wright State 80, (at) Detroit Mercy 73: Grant Benzinger made a career-tying six 3-pointers and scored 23 points. Benzinger was 6 of 12 from the arc, leading a 9-of-20 3-point showing for the Raiders (11-5, 3-0 Horizon League). Cole Gentry added a career-high 14 points and freshman Loudon Love 13 points and a season-high 14 rebounds for his fifth double-double.

Tariq Jones came off the bench to score 15 points and grab nine rebounds, both career highs, for the Titans (4-12, 0-3). Kameron Chatman added 13 points and 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double this season.

Benzinger scored nine points in a 14-0 run on the Raiders’ way to a 43-27 halftime lead. They led by 12 when the Titans gradually closed to a point, 70-69, with four minutes left. Benzinger hit a 3-pointer and Gentry scored for a six-point lead with 1:23 to go. From there, two free throws by Parker Ernsthausen and three points from Justin Mitchell were enough.

Big Ten

(At) Penn State 78, Northwestern 63: On a night Penn State’s guards deferred to their bigs, Nittany Lions forwards Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins were too much for Northwestern to handle. Stevens set a Bryce Jordan Center record with 14 field goals and scored 16 of his career-high 30 points in the first half and Watkins had 18 points and 17 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.

“They beat us up in the paint,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. “They beat us on drives and post-ups and it was just too much for us to overcome tonight.”

Both played with a visible edge — Watkins backed his marks violently into the paint and Stevens screamed in exaltation after numerous dunks. It was a needed release after a somber ride home from Maryland where the Nittany Lions lost a game they thought they should’ve won Tuesday.

“Sometimes, a loss like that, where you’re winning for 36 minutes and you come up short, it can fracture a young team,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said.

It didn’t.

Tony Carr added 12 points for the Nittany Lions (12-5, 2-2 Big Ten), who led the Wildcats (10-7, 1-3) for all but 61 seconds.

(At) Rutgers 64, Wisconsin 60: Corey Sanders scored 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting to give Rutgers a much-needed win. Sanders scored with 1:47 left then added a 3-pointer with under a minute to go for a 58-53 lead.

Brad Davison hit Wisconsin’s first 3-pointer of the game to tie it at 53 and cap a 7-0 run.

Tied at 15, Sanders hit a layup at the buzzer to give Rutgers a 25-24 lead at halftime but Wisconsin (9-8, 2-2 Big Ten) took the lead on the first possession of the second half.

The game went back and forth before Rutgers (11-6, 1-3) took the lead on a Sanders 3-pointer to make it 36-34 at the 13:38 mark. Sanders scored on an alley-oop followed by a Geo Baker layup to close out a 14-2 run and give Rutgers a 42-35 lead.

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