MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team was leading the Hillsdale College Chargers Thursday night at the half by a score of 43-32. The Chargers turned the table on the Wildcats in the second half by outscoring NMU (43-31) to take the game 75-74.
The loss drops the ‘Cats to 11-13 overall and 6-13 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Hillsdale improves to 13-10 and 11-8 respectively.
Raymont McElroy scored the first 10 points of the game for the ‘Cats for a 10-4 advantage. Tyler Kazmierkoski made both of his free throws about half way through the first half to give NMU the 25-14 lead. Kazmierkoski made a jumper at 7:14 to give NMU a 13-point lead (31-18). Chris Warner extended the lead to 15 points twice within a minute (35-20). Kazmierkoski gave NMU the double-digit lead into the locker room with his three-pointer near the end of the half (43-32).
NMU saw its lead shrink in the second half as the Chargers had it down to seven points (46-39) almost three minutes in the half. From 13:22 to about 6:07 the two teams traded baskets with NMU still holding a two to four point lead. Sebastien Salois off the bench hit a three-pointer for a five-point NMU lead (60-55) with five minutes and some change left in the game. Hillsdale would tie the game at 60-all and take a brief lead before McElroy drained a three-pointer at 3:24 for a 63-62 game. Until the end of the game neither team had a lead larger than a point. With 11 ticks left on the clock Warner made both of his free throws for a 74-73 NMU lead. The Chargers missed a jumper with four seconds left in the game and put the offensive rebound back in for the final score at the buzzer.
McElroy led NMU in the scoring column with a career-high 26 points. He also added six assists and two steals. Kazmierkoski ended the night with 21 points and eight rebounds. Warner had 20 points in the loss, five rebounds and three steals. Tony Gugino led the Chargers with a double-double of 30 points and 16 rebounds.
After shooting almost 52 percent from the floor in the first half (14-27) the ‘Cats cooled off a bit and shot 34.6 percent in the second half (9-26) to end the game with a shooting percentage of 43.4 (25-53). NMU was 9-19 from the arc (47.4 percent). McElroy led NMU by going 4-6 from three-point land. The ‘Cats were 19-21 from the free throw line (90.5 percent). Rebounds went in favor of the visitors by a 34-26 margin.
The ‘Cats host the Findlay Oilers Saturday (Feb. 21) in the regular season home finale at 3 p.m.
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Sports Information Director