MARQUETTE, Mich. – Ricky Volcy recorded his fourth straight double-double and led four Wildcats in double-figures as the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team held on to defeat Ashland University Saturday afternoon. Trailing by one at the half (40-39) the ‘Cats scored just enough to take the game 82-80.
NMU has now won four straight and improve to 5-5 overall on the season and 2-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The Eagles fall to 7-4 and 2-2 respectively.
The first 20 minutes of the game was a fairly close affair. The ‘Cats biggest lead of the half was seven points which happened twice. Will Washington hit from downtown to give the ‘Cats a 17-10 lead at 12:33. The Eagles tied the game at 21-all and then at 24 before taking a brief lead. NMU used a 6-0 run over a two minute span to take a seven-point lead at 39-32, with 2:07 left in the half, when Volcy connected from the three-point line. Ashland finished off the half with an 8-0 run.
The first eight plus minutes of the second half was a back and forth game. There were four ties during the time and neither team had a lead bigger than four points. Tyler Kazmierkoski gave the ‘Cats a five-point lead (62-57) at 10:44. AU would chip away and tie the game and take a lead at 68-65 with 7:36 left in the game.
The ‘Cats gained the lead for the final time at 72-71 with 4:22 left thanks to a Volcy lay-up. With NMU holding onto a 74-73 lead with a little over three minutes left the ‘Cats ran off five points in a row thanks to a three-ball by Washington and a tip-in by Volcy to make the count 79-73. After the Eagle hit a jumper to cut the NMU lead to four points (79-75), Volcy hit a three for an 82-75 advantage at 1:51. AU shutout the ‘Cats the rest of the way and scored five points in a row to cut into the lead (82-80). The Eagles had a chance at the end after a turnover by Jake Suardini, but could not score.
Volcy led all players with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Washington added 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Kazmierkoski off the bench had a career-high 17 points. Chris Warner had 11 points and four assists. Suardini had a game-high eight assists. Vahn Knight and Greg Emmons led the Eagles with 17 points each.
The ‘Cats shot about he same for each half. NMU for the game was 28-61 from the floor for 45.9 percent. After hitting for 18 three-pointers against UW-Stout the other night the ‘Cats were 15-34 today from beyond the arc (44.1 percent). NMU missed two free throws and ended the game 11-13 (84.6 percent). AU did out rebound the ‘Cats with a 39-33 count.
NMU will host Finlandia on Monday night (Dec. 18) at 7:30 p.m.
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Sports Information Director