MARQUETTE, Mich. – One of the hottest teams in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) continues to roll. The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team won its third game in a row and four out its past five with a 71-57 win over the visiting Ferris State University Bulldogs Thursday evening at the Berry Events Center. NMU held at 35-27 lead after 20 minutes of play.
With the win the Wildcats improve to 5-13 overall and 5-5 in the GLIAC. FSU falls to 8-12 and 3-6 respectively.
Jake Suardini picked up where he left on Sunday afternoon. He scored the first nine points for NMU. At the time the ‘Cats held a 9-5 lead with almost five minutes gone in the game. NMU was up by 10 points when Jerard Ajami made a three-pointer at 13:15 (17-7). Back-to-back three-pointers by Tyler Kazmierkoski stretched the lead to 23-7. FSU did cut the lead to nine points (29-20) before Kazmierkoski converted a free throw and a three-pointer for a 33-20 lead. FSU ended the half with a 7-2 run. NMU’s lone points were from a Suardini layup at 1:42.
The Bulldogs came out in the second half with a 9-3 run to get to within two points (38-36) with 15:57 left in the game. NMU turned a four-point lead at 14:53 (40-36) into a 10-point cushion four minutes later (51-41). During the run NMU received three-point bombs from Ajami, Kazmierkoski and Suardini. At 6:14 the ‘Cats enjoyed a 15-point lead (62-47) thanks to another three-pointer from Kazmierkoski. The ‘Cats held off the Bulldogs the remainder of the game as they kept a double-digit lead.
NMU ended the game by going 23-55 from the floor (41.8 percent). Kazmierkoski with five three-pointers and Ajami with four led the ‘Cats from beyond the arc. As a team, NMU was 11-32 from the three-point line (34.4 percent). From the line the ‘Cats were 14-19 (73.7 percent). NMU just got by off the glass with a 36-33 count.
The big three once again led the ‘Cats. Suardini led the parade with 24 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. He was 8-11 from the free throw line. Ajami chipped in with 20 while Kazmierkoski had 18 points. Kyle Greene and Kazmierkoski each had nine rebounds. Justin Keenan led the Bulldogs off the bench with 16 points.
NMU will be back in action again on Saturday (Jan. 26) at home. The ‘Cats will face The University of Findlay Oilers at 1 p.m.
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Sports Information Director