SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The men’s basketball game between Lake Superior State University and Northern Michigan University was postponed for a day because of the cold and snow of yesterday. The effects of the cold must have carried over to tonight’s game as neither team shot the lights out. In a low scoring affair the Lakers defeated the Wildcats 58-49.
The ‘Cats after winning three games in a row have dropped its last two outings. NMU is now 5-15 overall on the season and 5-7 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play. LSSU improves to 6-12 and 5-8 respectively.
Kyle Greene and Jake Suardini gave the ‘Cats a lead right out of the gate at 3-0. LSSU tied the game and then went on a 7-2 run take the lead for good at 10-5. Tyler Kazmierkoski made a three-pointer at 7:06 to get the ‘Cats to within one at 17-16 with 7:06 showing on the clock. LSSU would hold onto the lead as Kazmierkoski made one of his two free throws at 4:43 to get the ‘Cats to within three points (25-22). The Lakers held a 29-22 lead with 2:48 left in the half, but the ‘Cats scored the final two baskets of the game by Eric Sirrine to go into the locker room down three (29-26). LSSU had seven points off the bench for the first half while NMU had zero.
It took the ‘Cats a little over four minutes to score in the second half. Jerard Ajami hit a jumper at 15:50 for the 33-28 score. Jake Suardini hit a jumper about a minute later to get the ‘Cats to within three points (33-30). After trading baskets the Lakers went on a 5-0 run to take an eight-point lead (40-32) with 11:45 left in the game. With less than 10 minutes left in the game LSSU had built an 11-point lead (44-33). NMU had the lead down to less than 10 points several times, but the Lakers answered each time. Suardini made both free throws at 3:50 to have the ‘Cats within eight (53-45). Darren Jones scored the final four points for the ‘Cats.
Suardini was the lone ‘Cat with over 10 points for the night. He ended the game with 21 points. Suardini was 10-13 from the free throw line, had four rebounds and five steals. Tim VanOudheuseden led the Lakers with 23 points. Sirrine and Greene each had six rebounds for the game.
NMU shot 29.1 percent from the floor on 16-55. LSSU was a little bit better at 34 percent (17-50). The ‘Cats were 3-16 from beyond the arc (18.8 percent). Kazmierkoski had two of the three-pointers. From the charity stripe the ‘Cats were 14-20 (70 percent). NMU was outrebounded by 15 (48-33).
The ‘Cats will have a home game on Monday (Feb. 4) against Northland Baptist at 7:30 p.m. After the non-conference game on Monday the ‘Cats are back on the road in GLIAC play. NMU will be at Ferris State on Thursday (Feb. 7) and Grand Valley State on Saturday (Feb. 9).
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director