MARQUETTE, Mich. – It looked on Saturday as the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team would cruise to its sixth straight win. NMU took control of the game early then saw the Gannon Golden Knights make a game in the second half. The Wildcats ended up on the winning side of the 80-72 score.
The win vaults the ‘Cats into second-place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division with the win and a Michigan Tech loss against Mercyhurst. For the season NMU is now 14-9 overall and 8-6 in conference play. Gannon falls to 6-14 and 2-10 respectively.
For the first eight minutes of the game it was close. NMU went on an 11-0 run over a three minute span to take a 14-point lead at 28-14 with 9:42 left in the first half. During the run, Will Washington connected on back-to-back three-pointers. After a basket by Gannon, Washington again hit from downtown for three more three-pointers over a three-minute span. Washington ended the first half by going 5-9 from the arc. NMU ended the first half with a 39-25 lead.
Washington made a free throw with 16:00 left in the game to give the ‘Cats a 16-point lead at 48-32. Over the next four minutes Gannon would go on a 13-0 run to cut the lead to three points (48-45). Ricky Volcy with a lay-up and Tyler Kazmierkoski with a three-pointer gave the ‘Cats the edge at 53-48 with 10:59 left in the game. Gannon would take a brief lead at 54-43 before Volcy accounted for five points on a three-pointer and a lay-up (58-54). The NMU lead would stay in single-digits until Steve Kaiser made a lay-up with a little over a minute left in the game (78-68).
Volcy for the eighth time this season scored 30 or more points in a game. Today he went for a game-high 34 points. He was 13-22 from the floor which included 4-8 from the three-point line. He also had six rebounds, three assists and four blocks. Washington added 16 points. Robert Buckner led Gannon with 23 points. Jake Suardini and Chris Warner both grabbed eight rebounds.
NMU shot over 48 percent from the floor. The ‘Cats were 29-60 for 48.3 percent. From the arc the ‘Cats were 12-31 for 38.7 percent. Both teams made 14 trips to the free throw line as NMU made 10 throws (71.4 percent). Gannon had the slight edge off the glass with a 35-31 rebounding slate.
The ‘Cats are on the road this coming week as they play at Lake Superior on Thursday (Feb. 8) and Ferris State on Saturday (Feb. 10).
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Sports Information Director