UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – Saturday afternoon at Saginaw Valley State, the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team up by four points at halftime (33-29) and as many as 11 points in the second half let one slip away. The Cardinals came back to take the game by a score of 59-56.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 7-9 overall on the season and 4-8 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Saginaw Valley State improves to 12-5 and 9-3 respectively.
NMU controlled the first couple minutes of the game. Marc Renelique opened up the scoring with a three-pointer which was followed by a lay-up by Mylan Murphy. Back-to-back three-pointers by Raymont McElroy and Renelique gave NMU a 12-7 lead (12:20). After the Cardinals took a one-point lead (15-14), NMU received an eight-point run from McElroy as he made the score 22-15 with 8:05 left in the half. After a Saginaw Valley State score, Jared Benson registered back-to-back baskets for a 27-18 game with 5:46 showing on the clock. Renelique gave NMU a 29-21 lead with about five minutes left in the half. McElroy scored the final four points for the ‘Cats in the half before Saginaw Valley State added two free throws (33-29).
The second 20 minutes of play saw the ‘Cats expand its lead to 11 points three plus minutes into the half. McElroy connected for back-to-back three-pointers in that time. Renelique’s lay-up at 11:25 gave NMU a 47-38 lead. The Cardinals cut into the NMU lead and had it down to three points 50-47 with 5:42 left in the game. Murphy made a lay-up at 5:18 for a 52-47 score before Saginaw Valley State used a 5-0 run over the next three minutes to tie the game at 52-all (2:06). The Cardinals did not give up the lead as they used a 7-4 run to end the game.
McElroy was the top scorer of the game with 22 points as he also had three assists. Renelique added 12. Avery Stephenson led Saginaw Valley State with 18 points. Murphy led the ‘Cats off the boards with a team-high nine rebounds.
NMU was 22-62 from the floor (35.5 percent). From beyond the arc the ‘Cats were 9-28 (32.1 percent). McElroy had five of the three-pointers. The ‘Cats only attempted eight free throws as they sank three (37.5 percent). The Cardinals had a slight edge on rebound (46-43).
NMU will stay on the road for its next two games, at Ferris State (Jan. 28) and Grand Valley State (Jan. 30).
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Sports Information Director