Slow start dooms NMU Men vs. FSU


Courtesy of NMU Athletics

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team fell 69-63 to Ferris State University on Saturday (Feb. 9) afternoon from the Berry Events Center in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game.

The loss drops NMU to 5-16 and 4-13 in the GLIAC, while the Bulldogs improve to 12-9 and 11-6 in conference play. NMU has lost 10 games this season by 10 points or fewer.

With just over two minutes remaining in the game, a made three-point shot and layup by junior forward Matthew Craggs to cut the FSU lead to five (65-60), the closest of the second half. On the next NMU position with 30 seconds to go, Craggs was fouled and sent to the free throw line. He made the back end of two shots to cut the deficit to four.

However, the Bulldogs kept its lead after being fouled twice in the remaining 20 seconds. FSU then went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.

Ferris led 31-24 at the break after opening up the game with an 11-0 run. NMU didn’t get on the scoreboard until 15:15 left in the half on a shot from beyond the arc by freshman guard Stephen Pelkofer. The Bulldogs held its lead for the entire game, not giving the Wildcats a chance to take the lead or tie.

Sophomore forward Kendall Jackson had a game-high of 17 points with a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line and 5-for-5 from the floor. Craggs finished with 14 points while senior forward TJ Cameron and Pelkofer each tallied 11. Junior forward Scooter Johnson added nine points off the bench. Craggs led both teams with eight rebounds.

Northern shot 55 percent (22-for-40) from the floor and were 17-for-23 (73.9 percent) from the free throw line. NMU pulled down 28 rebounds for the game.

For the Bulldogs, Drew Lehman led with 17 points on three filed goal, one three-pointer and was 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. Dietrich Lever (16), Kenny Brown (14) and Daniel Sutherlin (10) also scored double figures.

FSU was 43.1 percent (22-for-51) from the two-point range and was 87 percent (20-for-23) from the free throw line. The Bulldogs finished with 24 rebounds.

NMU is back on the road next weekend with a pair of GLIAC games below the bridge at Saginaw Valley State University on Thursday (Feb. 14) and at Wayne State on Saturday (Feb. 16).