Cardinals too much for NMU men

Courtesy of NMU Athletics

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team dropped a 61-50 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference matchup to visiting Saginaw Valley State Thursday at the Berry Events Center.

The loss drops NMU to 4-18 overall with a 3-15 league record. Saginaw Valley improved to 9-12 with a 5-12 league mark.

“You know over the course of the year I thought we played pretty hard and competed pretty well and tonight we just didn’t,” said NMU head coach Bill Sall. “There is only so many things we can do but one thing we can do is play harder and hopefully that will ring true as we move forward to the game against Wayne State on Saturday.”

Junior forward Justin Newell was the only Wildcat to score in double figures with 14. C.J. Turnage led all players scoring 27 for Saginaw Valley State.

NMU took its largest lead of the game with 4:05 left in the first half when junior guard Ethan Blackwell laid the ball in putting the Wildcats up 25-20.

A layup by Turnage with 40-seconds remaining in the first half gave the Cardinals a 27-25 lead which they took into the locker room at the half.

NMU shot 37.9-percent from the floor in the first half connecting on 11-29 of their attempts. SVSU was 11-22 in the first half.

A three-pointer by Newell just 1:07 into the second half put the Wildcats back on top 28-27. After a layup by SVSU’s Wade Gelhaus, a jumper by freshman guard Marcus Hall  put NMU back up 31-30 with 16:45 left in the game, but Saginaw Valley stretched their lead out to double-figures on a layup by Turnage with 10:59 left, 45-35, and never relinquished the lead.

Saginaw Valley outrebounded NMU 36-23 and outscored the Wildcats 32-26 in the paint. NMU took advantage of 15 Cardinal turnovers converting 16 points off their miscues.

NMU finished the game shooting 39.6-percent from the floor (21-53) and 31.3-percent from three-point range (5-16). SVSU went 22-45 (48.9%) and 3-12 (25.0%) from the free throw line.

The Wildcats return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday hosting Wayne State at the Berry Events Center.