MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team’s skid continues. NMU dropped its 2007-08 home opener to Finlandia University on Wednesday night. The Lions defeated the ‘Cats by a score of 75-58. For FU it was its third all-time victory over NMU. FU defeated NMU during the 1956-57 (73-65) and 2000-01 (67-62) seasons. With the loss the ‘Cats are still searching for its first win of the season and drop to 0-6. FU improves to 2-4.
The first six plus minutes of the game was close as neither team built a lead larger than three points. NMU took a 16-12 lead at 12:51 when Jake Suardini made a layup. FU led the rest of the half except for two ties. Jerard Ajami tied the game at 23-all with a jumper at 6:44. NMU then took a two-point lead at 25-23 when Suardini converted a layup with 5:50 left in the half. FU tied the score at 25-all with 4:42 remaining to half. Over the final four plus minutes of the half the Lions went on a 13-3 run. The score at half was 38-28. FU for the first 20 minutes of the game was 15-30 from the floor for 50 percent while the ‘Cats were struggling at 37.9 percent (11-29).
The second half belonged to the Lions. FU led the entire 20 minutes of play. After Darren Jones made a jumper at 16:45 the ‘Cats were trailing 43-39. The ‘Cats did not score a basket for over the next four plus minutes. Ajami made a three-pointer at 12:33 as the ‘Cats were trailing (55-42). That was as close as NMU would get on the night.
NMU shot a little better in the second half at 10-22 for 45.5 percent. For the game NMU was 21-51 from the floor for 41.2 percent. FU ended the game by shooting 50 percent from the floor (29-58). The ‘Cats were 9-26 from the three-point line (34.6 percent) and 7-12 from the charity stripe (58.3 percent). FU had the edge off the glass at 36-28.
Sebastien Salois led the ‘Cats with 15 points. His points came from the three-ball as he was 5-10. Salois added six rebounds. Tyler Kazmierkoski and Ajami each had 11 points in the loss. Kyle Greene and Kazmierkoski each had seven rebounds. Erik Bresette from FU led all scorers with 24 points.
NMU will face Michigan Tech on Saturday (Dec. 8) in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home opener at 3 p.m.
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Sports Information Director