MARQUETTE, Mich. – After falling behind to the Bemidji State Beavers Tuesday night at the Berry Events Center the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team staged a comeback in the second half to take the non-conference game (84-75). NMU trailed 38-35 after 20 minutes of play and outscored the Beavers 49-37 in the second half.
With the non-conference win the Wildcats improve to 5-4 overall on the season. Bemidji falls to 5-5.
Chris Warner gave the ‘Cats an early 8-4 lead after he sank both of his free throws about three minutes into the game. NMU used a 6-1 run over a span of a little over a minute to take an 18-11 lead with the first half almost half way through. The ‘Cats got three point plays from Marc Renelique on a three-pointer and Jared Benson on an old fashioned three-point play. The Beavers took a 31-24 lead with 4:17 left in the half then the ‘Cats responded with an 9-2 run on a three-pointer by Renelique, a dunk and a made free throw by Benson and a three-point play by Mylan Murphy for a 33-all game. With a minute-and-a-half left in the half Warner tied the game at 35-all with a jumper.
The second half saw the Beavers take a 44-37 lead minutes into the half. NMU responded with back-to-back baskets by Raymont McElroy and Benson for a 44-41 game. McElroy would tie the game at 51-all on a lay-up with 11:31 left in the regulation. Sebastien Salois came off the bench to give NMU the lead for good at 57-54 when he hit for a three-pointer with nine minutes left in regulation. NMU had a 10-point lead (64-54) when McElroy hit his own three-pointer at 6:46. Bemidji had the lead down to seven points with two minutes and some second left in the game (71-64) before McElroy sank two free throws for a 73-64 lead with 1:45 left on the clock. NMU made seven of eight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
McElroy led all scorers with 22 points for the game. He also added five assists and three steals. Benson added 18 while Renelique off the bench had 12. Seth Haake led the Beavers with 27 points. Murphy grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
NMU ended the game by going 25-55 from the floor (45.5 percent). From beyond the arc the ‘Cats were 8-19 (42.1 percent). McElroy led the ‘cats by going 3-5 while Salois and Renelique made two three-pointers each. From the free throw line the ‘Cats were almost perfect as they were 26-29 (89.7 percent). NMU won the battle along the boards with a 34-29 count.
The ‘Cats are back in conference play with a date at Michigan Tech, Saturday (Jan. 2).
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