TIFFIN, Ohio – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team won its fourth straight game with a convincing win Thursday night over the Tiffin University Dragons. NMU leading by four points (30-26) at the intermission shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half (13-26) for the 70-56 win.
The Wildcats improve to 7-4 overall on the season and 4-3 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play. Tiffin falls to 1-10 and 0-6 respectively.
The Dragons held an eight-point lead 12-4 with about eight minutes gone in the game. NMU used a 7-2 run to tie the game at 14-all with 9:16 left in the half. NMU received scoring from Jared Benson, Raymont McElroy (three-pointer) and Eric Hawley. The two teams traded baskets before Chris Warner made one of his two free throws to give NMU the 20-19 lead with a little more than five minutes left in the half. Hawley added a jumper at 4:33 for a 22-19 NMU lead. With about two minutes left in the half the Dragons took the lead (26-25) before the ‘Cats ended the half with a 5-0 run (30-26). Benson made one of his two free throws before NMU got jumpers from McElroy and Austin Rowe.
The ‘Cats and Dragons began the second half by going back and forth basket for basket before Tiffin tied the game at 34-all (17:06). After Tiffin made two free throws the ‘Cats tied the game at 36-all on a jumper by Benson (15:51). That sparked a 12-0 run by the ‘Cats as they were now leading 48-36 with 11:45 left in the game. Rowe made two three-pointers during the run. With a little more than 10 minutes left in the game McElroy gave NMU a 15-point lead (52-37). NMU then held a double-digit lead the majority of the way until the Dragons cut the lead to nine points (61-52) with 3:12 left in the game. NMU scored 11 of its final points of the game from the free throw line.
McElroy, this week’s GLIAC North Division Player of the Week, led the ‘Cats with a game-high 26 points. Two other starters were in double-digits as Rowe added 17 points while Benson had 13. DeAngelo Jordan led the Dragons with 18 points. Rowe also led the ‘Cats off the boards with eight rebounds.
NMU ended the game by going 24-49 from the floor (49 percent). That included 6-19 from beyond the arc. McElroy led the ‘Cats on the night with three three-pointers. From the free throw line the team was 16-28 (57.1 percent). The Dragons controlled the boards with a 46-30 count.
The ‘Cats move on down the road to face the Eagles of Ashland University Saturday afternoon (Jan. 9).
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Sports Information Director