VERMILLION, S.D. – For the second time in three day the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team faced the Coyotes of the University of South Dakota. The two teams met on Thursday (Dec. 27) at the Augustana Tournament as USD won 71-49. Today the site was the home court of the Coyotes, but the result was the same as the home team downed the Wildcats (92-55).
With the loss the ‘Cats are now 1-11 on the season while the Coyotes improve to 14-0. USD is ranked third in NCAA II Men’s Basketball.
NMU held a brief lead a couple of minutes into the game. Darren Jones gave NMU the 2-0 lead when he converted a layup just seconds into the game. Jake Suardini followed up with a layup of his own at 18:26 for the 4-0 lead. USD took over the lead before Jones got it back for the ‘Cats with a jumper at 16:49 (6-5). When Tyler Kazmierkoski sank both of his free throws at 16:12, NMU was still up 8-6. Over the next seven minutes or so the Coyotes went on a 22-2 run to take an 18-point lead at 28-10. After Kazmierkoski made back-to-back three-pointers for the ‘Cats (28-16) the home team scored the next 11 points in a row to take a 39-16 lead with 4:18 left in the half. NMU trailed 50-22 after 20 minutes of play.
The second half saw the home team extend its lead to 30 points a little over two minutes into the half. About half way through the half, NMU received back-to-back baskets from Kyle Greene and Eric Sirrine to make the count 67-42. The ‘Cats had 11 points off the bench in the second half.
Sebastien Salois was the lone ‘Cat in double-figures as he ended the game with 17 points. Salois and Sirrine each had six rebounds to share team honors. Suardini had four assists in the loss.
NMU was 21-55 from the floor (38.2 percent) which included 8-25 from the three-point line (32 percent). The ‘Cats made 11 trips to the free throw line and made five throws (45.5 percent). USD had the edge off the glass with a 41-28 count.
The ‘Cats are back in conference play this week when they will host the Lakers of Grand Valley State University on Thursday (Jan. 3) at 7:30 p.m.
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Sports Information Director