MARQUETTE, Mich. – Saturday afternoon at the Berry Events Center the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team saw an eight-point (43-35) halftime lead slip away to the Ashland University Eagles. The Eagles shot over 60 percent from the floor in the second half (60.7 percent) to down the Wildcats 84-76.
NMU falls to 9-4 overall on the season and 4-4 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). AU improves to 7-5 and 5-3 respectively.
Marc Renelique and Raymont McElroy converted back-to-back three-pointers about three minutes into the game to give the Wildcats an early 12-point lead (14-2). AU cut the lead down to six points before Tyler Kazmierkoski canned a three-pointer of his own at 13:40 for a 21-12 lead for the home team.
The Eagles stayed in the game by hitting baskets, but it seemed the ‘Cats had an answer for everyone. Renelique made three baskets in a span of about two minutes to give NMU its distance. He made a three-pointer at 8:22 for a seven-point NMU lead (31-24).
Kyle Greene had a dunk and then a lay-up to give NMU the 10-point lead (36-26) with 6:30 left in the half. AU hit a couple of baskets to get to within seven of NMU, but Renelique hit a three-pointer at 4:26 for a 10-point NMU lead once again (41-31).
McElroy made a lay-up with less than two minutes left before the half for another 10-point lead for NMU (43-33). AU added a basket before going into the locker room.
The second half saw NMU control the game for the first seven plus minutes. Renelique hit a shot from beyond the arc for a seven-point NMU lead (54-47) about four minutes in the half. AU had the NMU down to two points (54-52) before Renelique’s jumper gave NMU the 56-52 lead at 13:17. AU tied the game at 56-all with 12:03 showing on the clock. Over the next three minutes the score went back and forth as Chris Warner made a jumper (11:15) for a two-point NMU lead (58-56). AU converted a three-pointer before Warner made another jumper for a 60-59 lead (10:30). Each side traded three-pointers, but NMU’s by Sebastien Salois gave NMU the lead once again (63-62) with less than 10 minutes left in the game. AU took over the lead for good at 9:40 on a jumper for the 64-63 lead.
AU quickly had its lead up to eight points 71-63 with less than seven minutes left in the game. NMU used an 11-6 run over a span of almost five minutes to cut the lead down to one point (77-76) on a lay-up by McElroy with less than two minutes left in the game. The Eagles closed out the game with a 7-0 spurt for the win.
Renelique led all scorers with a new career high of 32 points. He was 12-25 from the floor as over half of his shots were from beyond the arc (6-16). McElroy also registered a new career high of 19 points and added six assists. Warner added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists. Greene led NMU on the boards with 10 rebounds. Bret Wackerly led AU with 29 points.
NMU was 31-70 from the floor for the game (44.3 percent). The ‘Cats were 12-33 from the three-point line (36.4 percent). NMU only made four trips to the free throw line and made half of its throws. AU had one more rebound for the game than NMU (41-40).
The ‘Cats are on the road for its next two games. NMU is at Findlay Thursday (Jan. 15) and then travel to Hillsdale Saturday (Jan. 17).
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Sports Information Director