NMU men’s hoops fall to Lake State

Courtesy of NMU Athletics

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan men’s basketball team lost a 77-58 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference match up against Lake Superior State on Thursday at the Berry Events Center.

The loss drops NMU to 4-13 on the season with a 3-10 GLIAC mark. Lake Superior State improved to 18-3 overall with a 10-3 league record.

“Lake State is a good team, and we knew coming in their two seniors were going to be the biggest threats,” said NMU head coach Bill Sall. “Everything they did wasn’t surprising, we saw it on film and practiced it. But, there’s a difference between seeing it, doing it and executing it. We didn’t do as good of a job executing it as we could have.”

Freshman guard Marcus Hall led NMU with 16 points followed by junior forward Justin Newell with 12 and junior guard Ethan Blackwell with 10. Blackwell also recorded nine assists just missing his first double-double.

A jumper from senior forward Michael Smith with 13:55 remaining in the first half and a three from Blackwell with 10:57 left in the first gave NMU their largest leads of the game, 12-10 and 19-17, respectively.

Lake Superior State led 38-31 at the break. Newell led the Wildcats with 12 first-half points as the Wildcats shot 52.0 percent from the floor connecting on 13-25 from the field and 3-8 from three-point range. The lead changed six times through the first period and the game saw four ties.

Hall drained a three-pointer to start the second half cutting the Lakers lead to 38-35, but Lake Superior was able to stretch the lead out to double-figures with a three-pointer by Derek Billing with 17:11 left in the game.

NMU shot 43.1 percent from the floor connecting on 22-51 of their shots. NMU also went 6-15 (40.0%) from three-point range and 8-19 (42.1%) from the free throw line.

The Lakers outrebounded the Wildcats 31-27 and outscored NMU 34-16 in the paint.

Billing led all players with 24 points followed by Cameron Metz who scored 21 for Lake Superior State.

NMU returns to action at 1 p.m. Saturday hosting Northwood at the Berry Events Center.