ERIE, Pa. – It looked as if the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team would pick up its first win of the season on Thursday night at Gannon University in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener. NMU had a 14-points lead with less than 11 left in the first half, but could not hold the lead and dropped the 84-62 game to the Golden Knights.
The Wildcats still in search of its first win of the season drop to 0-4 and 0-1 in the GLIAC. GU improves to 4-0 and 1-0 respectively.
NMU opened the game with back-to-back three-pointers by Tyler Kazmierkoski and Jerard Ajami and the 6-2 lead. When Kazmierkoski made another three-pointer at 10:44 the ‘Cats held its largest lead of the game at 27-13. GU tied the game at 28-all thanks to a 15-1 run with 5:37 left in the half. The final three plus minutes saw the ‘Cats take the lead back twice. Jake Suardini sank a three-pointer with 3:26 on the clock (31-30). With NMU trailing by one (33-32) Darren Jones made a jumper with 1:48 left before half (34-33). GU led at the half 37-36.
Both teams shot over 50 percent from the floor for the half. NMU was 13-25 for 52 percent while GU was 14-28 for 50 percent. NMU was 8-13 (61.5 percent) from the three-point line in the first half, but ended the game at 12-24 (50 percent).
The second half was all GU as they led the entire 20 minutes. NMU scored a basket at 18:21 by Suardini to make the score 43-38, but did not score again until 13:53 when Eric Sirrine made a layup (56-40). The ‘Cats tried to make a run when Ajami sank back-to-back three-pointers and Suardini made a layup at 7:13 to make the score 62-55. For the rest of the game the Golden Knights built upon its lead to lead by as many as 22 points.
Three ‘Cats were in double-figures in the scoring column. Ajami led the way with 23 points for a game high. He also added five rebounds and five assists. Suardini had 15 points while Kazmierkoski added 12. Vince Mosley led the Golden Knights with 22 points.
NMU ended the game by shooting 51.1 percent from the floor (24-47). The ‘Cats made 10 trips to the free throw line and converted two of the throws (20 percent). Rebounds were even at 27-all.
NMU will stay in Erie, Pa. and face the Mercyhurst Lakers on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 1) at 3 p.m.
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Sports Information Director