The UW-Parkside men’s basketball team is searching to find its defensive identify early this season.

The Rangers played their second game of the season on Sunday and, for the second straight time, they had their share of defensive issues.

After losing its season opener to Michigan Tech 82-57 on Saturday, Parkside fell to Northern Michigan 83-68 on Sunday in the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge at Houghton, Mich.

“We had troubles on defense again today,’’ Parkside coach Luke Reigel said. “We’re not overly big and we’re not overly athletic, so we have to be sharp on defense. We just got to keep working on it.’’

The Rangers’ defense was respectable in the first half against Northern Michigan and that enabled Parkside to trail only 37-34 going into the second half. But then Northern Michigan pulled away, scoring 56 points in the period.

Jameel Moore topped Parkside scorers with 15 points, hitting on 5 of 10 shots from the field, including 4 of 9 3-pointers. Espen Fjaerestad and Adam Bonk contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Rangers.

The Rangers also got a solid game from red-shirt sophomore center Joe Borcia, who finished with nine points and five rebounds.

Naba Echols of Northern Micjhigan led all scorers with 27 oints. Teammate Will Carius added 17 points.

One of the bright spots for the Rangers was the way they protected the ball.

“We had 20 assists and eight turnovers and that’s always a positive,’’ Reigel said.

Bonk had five assists and no turnovers in a team-leading 35 minutes.

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