MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team played its final tune-up Monday night before jumping into conference play later in the week. Four Wildcats were in double-figures as NMU defeated Finlandia 90-77.
The ‘Cats improve to 2-1 on the season while the Lions fall to 2-4.
NMU was down 13-12 with almost seven minutes gone in the game when Austin Rowe and Chris Warner made back-to-back lay-ups to give the ‘Cats a 16-13 lead. The ‘Cats would not give up the lead the rest of the way. Raymont McElroy quickly made the lead nine points with a lay-up of his own at 10:26. After Finlandia had the NMU down to six points with less than six minutes to go in the half, Warner canned a three-pointer before a lay-up the next time down the court for a 31-20 game. Rowe made his own three-pointer for a 13-point lead with 3:17 left in the half. The Lions cut into the lead right before halftime for a 38-31 score after 20 minutes of play.
The second half saw the ‘Cats build an 18-point lead at 53-35 (14:51) after a Mylan Murphy dunk. McElroy made both of his free throws at 12:44 as the ‘Cats enjoyed a 60-39 lead. NMU had the lead to 27 points (77-50) when Sebastien Salois came off the bench and made a three-pointer with 7:44 left in the game. The Lions would not go away as they cut into the NMU lead and had it down to 10 points 86-76 with 1:14 left in the game. That would be as close as Finlandia would get on the night.
Rowe off the bench had 18 points as did McElroy. Jared Benson had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Warner also had 12 points in the win. Erik Bresette led Finlandia with 19 points.
NMU shot 49.2 percent (31-63) from the floor for the game. From beyond the arc the ‘Cats shot 36.4 percent (8-22). Four ‘Cats had two three-pointers each (Benson, Warner, Salois and Rowe). From the charity stripe the ‘Cats shot 87 percent (20-23). NMU outrebounded the Lions by 20 (49-29).
NMU opens up Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play later this week with two games. First up Thursday (Dec. 3) at 7:30 p.m. is Northwood then Saturday (Dec. 5) at 1 p.m. is Wayne State.
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Sports Information Director