MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University men’s basketball finished on a 19-9 run going 10-10 from the free-throw line in the final minute to defeat Lake Erie 62-50. The Wildcats improved to 6-8 on the season with a 4-4 mark in GLIAC play. Freshman guard Jordan Perez led all scorers with 17 points, while sophomore guard Marcus Hall chipped in another 13. Senior guard Terry Nash recorded six points and 11 rebounds in the win.
“Today was about guts,” commented head coach Bill Sall. “When you’ve got guts you’re willing to go to battle and that always gives you a chance. We made some key stops and got some rebounds that allowed us to push. When you compare today’s game with Thursday we played significantly harder.”
After Lake Erie opened the game with an 8-6 lead, freshman forward Alex Sorenson hit a jumper to cap off a 12-0 run that gave Northern Michigan an 18-8 lead with 7:14 remaining in the half, drawing a timeout from the Storm bench. Lake Erie battled back the remainder of the half and cut the deficit to a 22-17 score by halftime.
Northern Michigan outscored Lake Erie 16-6 in the paint and the Wildcat bench scored 11 points in the opening half. The NMU defense opened the game strong holding Lake Erie to 5-23 (.217) shooting from the field.
A pair of three-point baskets for the Storm at the beginning of the second half cut the NMU lead down to one at 24-23 with 19:10 remaining in the game. Lake Erie would take their first lead of the half at 39-37 with 7:42 left to play, but Northern Michigan quickly evened the score at 41-41 with 4:44 left in the contest.
The Wildcats then went on an 11-2 run to pull ahead at 52-43 with 1:35 on the clock before icing the game from the free-throw line in the final minute to set the final at 62-50.
NMU finished the game outrebounding the Storm 41-32 along with the Wildcat bench outscoring the Lake Erie bench 24-8. The Northern Michigan defense ended the game holding Lake Erie to 18-56 (.321) shooting from the field.
NMU went 21-24 (.875) from the free-throw line in the contest including shooting 20-21 (.952) in the second half.
Northern Michigan will next host Grand Valley State Thursday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Ferris State Saturday, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m.
(Information/Photo Courtesy of NMU Athletics)