ASHLAND, Ohio – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team went into a little slump in the second half by shooting 28.6 percent (8-28) and dropped the game to Ashland Saturday afternoon 67-55. NMU held a four-point lead at the half (30-26), but were outscored in the second half (41-25) as Ashland went 11-22 (50 percent). With the loss the Wildcats snapped its four-game winning streak.
The loss drops NMU to 7-5 overall on the season and 4-4 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Ashland improves to 8-5 and 4-4 respectively.
Raymont McElroy’s three-point play at 14:10 of the first half gave NMU a 13-8 lead. About two minutes later, McElroy’s three-pointer gave NMU a 16-10 cushion. Ashland briefly took over the lead 19-18 (6:56) before the ‘Cats sank four free throws in a row by Mylan Murphy and Austin Rowe for a 22-19 lead (6:13). With 2:47 left in the half, McElroy gave NMU a seven-point lead (30-23) on a jumper. Ashland scored the final three points of the half all from the line.
The second half began with a Murphy lay-up seconds into the half (32-26). Ashland took over the lead a little over two minutes later on a three-pointer for a 34-32 score. Murphy recorded another lay-up at 15:45 for a 38-36 Ashland lead. Jared Benson tied the game at 38-all about a minute later. Over the next six minutes Ashland kept the lead until McElroy sank both of his free throws to tie the game at 46-all with 8:28 left in the game. With 3:49 left in the game, Ashland held a nine-point lead (58-49) before the ‘Cats received four points from Benson (58-53). Chris Warner had the ‘Cats to within five points once again with 1:18 left in the game at 60-55 after a lay-up. That would be the ‘Cats final score for the game as the Eagles went on a 7-0 run.
Four of NMU’s five starters ended the game in double-digits in the scoring column. McElroy led the way with 17 points as he was followed by Benson with 14, Murphy and Rowe had 10 each. Benson led NMU off the glass with eight rebounds. Bylynn Hatcher led Ashland with 18 points.
NMU was 20-57 from the floor for the game (35.1 percent). The ‘Cats only made one three-pointer in 12 attempts (8.3 percent). McElroy recorded NMU’s lone three-pointer for the game. From the charity stripe the ‘Cats were 14-19 (73.7 percent). Rebounds were almost even as Ashland had two more than NMU (36-34).
The ‘Cats are home for its next two games. First up is an encounter with Findlay Thursday (Jan. 14) and then Hillsdale Saturday (Jan. 16).
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Sports Information Director