Wildcats lose close battle to Ferris State

MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University held a one-point lead with 1:35 remaining in the game but No. 19 Ferris State finished the game scoring the final four points to defeat the Wildcats 61-58. Northern Michigan falls to 6-10 on the season with a 4-6 GLIAC record, while Ferris State improved to 14-2 with a 10-0 mark in conference.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair to begin before Ferris State used a 9-4 run to take their largest lead of the half at 33-24 with 3:17 remaining. Northern Michigan cut into the deficit by halftime scoring seven of the next eight points to put the score at 34-31 heading into the break.

Freshman guard Jordan Perez led the Wildcats with 11 points at the half with senior guard Terry Nash chipping in nine. Northern Michigan would shoot 12-25 (.480) from the field and went 5-7 (.714) from the charity stripe.

Northern Michigan came out strong using a 12-7 run to open the half, which gave the Wildcats their first lead of the half at 43-41 with 13:35 in the game. The next nine minutes of the game saw four ties and the largest lead being a meager four points eventually leading to a 55-55 draw with 4:49 remaining to play.

Senior guard Drew Lehman broke the tie for Ferris with a jumper to put the game at 57-55 and 2:04 in the clock. Sophomore guard Marcus Hall would take a feed from Nash and nail a three-pointer in the next posession to give the Wildcats a 58-57 edge with 1:35 left on the clock. Ferris State scored the next four points to give them a 61-58 advantage with 24 seconds left to play before an NMU three-point attempt at the buzzer fell short.

Ferris State ended the game outrebounding NMU 41-29, including 22 offensive boards for the Bulldogs. As a result, the Bulldogs were able to edge NMU in second chance points 19-6. Northern Michigan was able to force 10 turnovers in the game but only managed to score two points off those turnovers.

NMU would finish shooting 22-48 (.458) from the field and held Ferris to 23-65 (.354) shooting.

Perez led the Wildcats with a game-high 21 points, while Hall added 10 for NMU. Nash ended the game with nine points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

Northern Michigan hits the road next as they travel to Saginaw Valley Thursday, Jan. 22 with the tip scheduled for 8 p.m.

(Information/Photo Courtesy of NMU Athletics)