ERIE, Pa. – Three starters were in double-figures, but that was not enough as the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team suffered its sixth straight loss for the 2007-08 season. The Mercyhurst College Lakers defeated the Wildcats, 63-55, on Saturday afternoon. NMU is now 0-6 overall on the season and 0-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). MC improves to 4-3 and 1-1 respectively.
The first 10 minutes of the game it was close as the Lakers held a slight lead, but NMU came through to take the lead on several occasions. Darren Jones made two free throws at 13:40 to give the ‘Cats a 12-10 lead. Ryan Reichel converted a layup at 11:47 to give NMU a two-point lead again at 14-12. NMU’s largest lead of the half was four points on a layup by Tyler Kazmierkoski and a three-pointer by Jerard Ajami with 5:53 left in the half. The ‘Cats went into the locker room trailing 35-30.
NMU’s first lead of the season half came when Jake Suardini drained a jumper at 13:27 to make the score 40-39. Ajami made a jumper a little over two minutes later for a NMU lead of 42-39. The Lakers then hit for five straight points to take a 44-42 lead. Jones tied the score at 44-all with a jumper at 8:54. MC would take and hold the lead the rest of the way.
NMU shot 39.1 percent from the floor for the game (18-46). The ‘Cats were 5-15 from beyond the arc (33.3 percent). Kazmierkoski and Ajami together made four of the three-pointers with two each. NMU made 20 trips to the free throw line and made 14 throws (70 percent). Rebounds were even at 27 for each side.
Suardini led the ‘Cats with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kazmierkoski and Ajami each poured in 12 points. Jones off the bench added 11 points. Terry Smith led the Lakers with 20 points.
NMU will face Finlandia on Wednesday night (Dec. 5) for the home opener at 7:30 p.m.
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Sports Information Director