MIDLAND, Mich. – Six of the seven players who took the court for the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team Saturday at Northwood University scored for the Wildcats. Down by five points at the half (33-28) the ‘Cats fell to the Timberwolves (60-55). NMU is now 2-13 overall on the season and 2-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). NU improves to 6-8 and 3-4 respectively.
The first half was all Timberwolves. NU jumped out t a quick 5-2 lead before Jerard AJami hit a three-pointer at 18:17 to tie the game at five-all. NMU would cut the Timberwolves lead to one point twice in the half. Eric Sirrine made a tip-in at 9:07 to make the score 17-16. A little more than three minutes later Ajami would hit a jumper (20-19). NU then went on an 11-3 run for the 31-22 lead with 2:53 left in the half. Suardini made three of his four free throws before the half to give the ‘Cats a run before going into the locker room.
NMU’s first lead of the game came at 14:35 of the second half on a Tyler Kazmierkoski jumper (38-37). Sebastien Salois hit three-pointer before Ajami canned a jumper for the 43-41 lead (11:24). With the score tied at 44-all Ajami went on a 5-0 run thanks to a three-pointer and a jumper to give NMU its largest lead of the game (49-44) with a little over eight minutes left in the game. Over the next five minutes the Timberwolves went on a 10-0 run to take a five-point lead (54-49) with a little over three minutes left in the game. NMU got close one more time. Suardini made a three-pointer with 20 seconds left in the game to make the score 57-55. NU would finish the game with a layup and a free throw to pick up the win.
Suardini led all scorers with a career-high 23 points. He also had four assists and two steals. Ajami ended the day with 17 points. Kazmierkoski led the ‘Cats on the boards with nine rebounds. Aaron Simpson led the Timberwolves with 21 points.
NMU shot 39.1 percent from the floor for the game (18-46). From beyond the arc the ‘Cats were 8-23 (34.8 percent). NMU made 18 trips to the free throw line and made 11 of the throws (61.1 percent). NU had a big advantage on the boards at 38-22.
NMU will begin a four-game home stand this coming week. The ‘Cats face Wayne State (Jan. 19) and Hillsdale (Jan. 20) next weekend.
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Sports Information Director