MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team was playing the Wayne State University Warriors for the second time in 12 days Thursday. NMU won the first meeting in Detroit by a score of 68-67. Tonight’s game against the Warriors was a different story. Wayne State held a one-point lead at the half (31-30) before pulling out the win (65-55). Wayne shot a little over 38 percent in the second half (8-21 for 38.1 percent) from the floor while the Wildcats were at 32.1 percent (9-28).
With the loss the ‘Cats drop to 6-2 overall on the season and 2-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The Warriors improve to 4-4 and 2-2 respectively.
After the first four plus minutes of the game the ‘Cats enjoyed a seven-point lead (9-2). Points came from Raymont McElroy, Marc Renelique, Jared Benson and Chris Warner. Renelique hit a three-pointer at 12:42 for a 12-6 NMU lead. Benson gave NMU its largest lead of the half at 19-12 when he made a lay-up at 7:44. WSU tied the game at 22-all at 3:28 left in the half. Tyler Kazmierkoski gave NMU a brief lead before the Warriors tied it up once again at 24-all. Chris Warner and Eric Sirrine connected on back-to-back three-pointers for a 30-27 NMU lead with a minute and some change left in the half. The Warriors made a three-pointer of their own before making one of its two free throws before the end of the half.
NMU and Wayne held the first five minutes of the second half close as the score was tied four times. Benson made a jumper at 11:54 to give the ‘Cats a 40-39 lead. That turned out to be NMU’s final lead of the game. Over the next five minutes the Warriors used a 10-2 run to take over the game (49-42). Warner three-pointer at 6:23 had the ‘Cats within four (49-45) which as close as the team would get on the night.
Benson led the ‘Cats with 16 points while Warner added 12. Kyle Greene led the ‘Cats with six rebounds. Bryan Wright led Wayne with 18 points.
NMU was 19-49 from the floor for the game (38.8 percent). That included 8-19 from the arc (42.1 percent). Renelique and Warner each had two three-pointers to lead NMU. NMU was 9-12 from the free throw line (75 percent). The Warriors had the advantage on the boards at 36-28.
NMU will be back in action on Saturday (Dec. 20) against Northwood at the Berry Events Center. The game is a 1 p.m. start.
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Sports Information Director