ASHLAND, Ohio – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team snapped its seven-game skid with a 75-67 win over the Ashland Eagles Thursday night. NMU lost to the Eagles at home Jan. 10 by a score of 84-76. The Wildcats led by 12 points at the half on Thursday night, 38-26.
With the win the ‘Cats improve to 10-10 overall on the season and 5-10 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play. Ashland drops to 9-10 and 7-8 respectively.
With the score all tied up at nine with just under five minutes gone in the game Ashland scored a basket for an 11-9 score before the ‘Cats received a three-pointer from Austin Rowe and a jumper from Raymont McElroy for a 14-11 lead with about seven minutes gone in the game. Over the next couple of minutes, McElroy sank another jumper before a made free throw by the Eagles then a three-pointer by Tyler Kazmierkoski for a 19-12 NMU lead (9:53). Ever time Ashland would score the ‘Cats would answer to keep the lead at nine points. Kazmierkoski made the score 29-20 at 5:07 with a three-pointer. With 1:37 before the half, Marc Renelique gave NMU its largest lead of the half, 36-24, when he hit from beyond the arc. Eric Sirrine ended the half with a lay-up at the buzzer.
NMU took a quick 17-point lead just minutes into the second half on baskets by Rowe and Kazmierkoski (three-pointer). Kazmierkoski hit another three-pointer a little over a minute later for a 46-29 NMU lead. Renelique gave the ‘Cats its largest lead of the game, 49-29, with a three-pointer of his own at 16:28. Ashland went on an 11-2 run the cut the NMU lead to 51-40 with 11:44 left in the game. The ‘Cats kept a double-digit lead until 3:45 when the Eagles converted a three-point play (63-55). Ashland had the NMU down to five points (63-58) with 2:50 showing on the clock. Kyle Greene’s lay-up and a three-pointer by Renelique gave the ‘Cats a 68-59 cushion with a little over a minute left in the game. Jared Benson sank both of his free throws with 37 ticks left in the game to keep NMU’s lead at nine points (70-61). NMU was seven of eight from the line in the last 37 seconds of the game to seal the win.
Kazmierkoski was the game’s leading scorer with 20 points. He also had five rebounds. McElroy ended the night with 14 points. Rowe was the third starter in double-figures with 12 points. Renelique off the bench added 11 points. Rowe also ended the game with five rebounds. Bret Wackerly ended the game with 17 points for the Eagles. Kale Richardson for Ashland had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.
NMU ended the game by shooting 25-63 from the floor (39.7 percent). The ‘Cats were 12-37 from the three-point line (32.4 percent). Kazmierkoski was 6-of-11 from beyond the arc on the night. NMU was almost perfect from the free throw line by going 13-15 (86.7 percent). Rebounds were in favor of the ‘Cats 37-33.
NMU will continue on its road swing with a game at Tiffin Saturday (Feb. 7).
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Sports Information Director