MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team kept it close against the top tanked team in the country in NCAA Division II men’s basketball Saturday at the Berry Events Center. NMU was down by 12 points at the half (39-27), but had the University of Findlay lead cut to eight points in the second half with under 10 minutes to play. In the end the Oilers won the game 81-68.
With the loss the ‘Cats are now 11-14 overall on the season and 6-14 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Findlay stays perfect on the season at 24-0 and 20-0 respectively.
Kyle Greene’s lay-up about five minutes into the game made the score 7-5. The Oilers responded with a 9-0 run for a 16-5 game about eight minutes gone. With NMU trailing Tyler Kazmierkoski hit for a three-pointer at 7:23 to cut the Findlay lead to 26-18. After back-to-back baskets by the Oilers, Marc Renelique made his own three-pointer for a 30-21 game at 5:24. Free throws by Renelique and Austin Rowe made the score 33-25 with a little more than two minutes left before the half. Findlay ended the half by using a 6-2 spurt.
Raymont McElroy opened up the second half with a three-pointer and a jumper to get NMU to within seven (39-32). Over the span of the next three minutes the Oilers used an 8-2 run to extend its lead to 47-34. Findlay had a 17-point lead (55-38) with 12:16 left in the game. NMU gradually chipped away at the lead and had it down to 10 points when Chris Warner converted a three-point play at 10:13. After a missed Findlay jumper, Jared Benson made a lay-up for an eight-point Findlay lead (59-51) with 9:46 to play. That was as close as the Wildcats would get in the game.
Renelique led NMU off the bench with 21 points. He was 6-10 from the floor which included 6-9 from three-point land. McElroy and Warner each ended the game with 15 points. Marcus Parker led the Oilers with 22 points. Greene led NMU off the glass with six rebounds.
The ‘Cats were 20-47 from the floor for the game (42.6 percent). NMU was 11-24 from three-point range (45.8 percent). From the free throw line the ‘Cats were 17-21 (81 percent). Findlay outrebounded the ‘Cats by 10 (33-23).
The ‘Cats will conclude the regular season by taking to the road to face Saginaw Valley State (Feb. 26) and Lake Superior State (Feb. 28).
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Sports Information Director