MARSHALL, Minn. — Northern Michigan University sophomore guard Marcus Hall led all players with 17 points as the Wildcats men’s basketball team dropped its opening game at the SW Minnesota Classic Saturday to Wayne State (Neb.), 70-63.
The loss moves NMU to 2-3 overall while Wayne State improved to 2-3.
Hall was 6-9 from the floor, 3-3 from behind the arc and 2-2 from the free throw line. Junior guard Terry Nash was the only other Wildcat to score in double-digits adding 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
NMU led through most of the first half but Wayne State went on a 9-4 run over the final 5:14 of the first half to take a 34-29 lead at halftime.
The Wildcats were able to get within one point of Wayne State’s lead in the second half four times, but were unable to capture the lead.
NMU finished the game shooting 43.9% (25-57) and hot 54.2% during the second half and out rebounded Wayne State 32-25 including a 12-3 advantage on the offensive boards which they converted into six second-chance points. Wayne state outscored NMU 40-28 in the paint.
NMU was also hot from beyond the arc connecting on 6-12 three-point attempts.
Senior forward Chavis Mattison came off the bench to lead NMU with nine rebounds while also scoring eight points.
Patrick Kurth led three Wayne State players in double-digit scoring with 17. WSU capitalized on 13 NMU turnovers and converted those into 22 points.
NMU continues action at the SW Minnesota Classic facing off against host Southwest Minnesota State at 7 p.m. Saturday.