MARQUETTE, Mich. – After leading by seven points at halftime (43-36) the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team held on to down the Grand Valley State Lakers Thursday night at the Berry Events Center by a score of 83-80. It was the second time this season that the Wildcats had beaten the Lakers. NMU defeated Grand Valley State in Allendale a couple of weeks ago (61-58).
The ‘Cats winning its second game in a row improve to 10-11 overall on the season and 7-10 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Grand Valley State falls to 17-5 and 13-4 respectively.
Marc Renelique scored eight of NMU’s first 11 points minutes into the game as the team enjoyed an 11-3 lead. He then made all three of his free throw attempts about two minutes later at 15:52 for an 11-point lead (14-3). Mylan Murphy’s lay-up six minutes into the half gave NMU its largest lead to that point (20-8). Renelique’ three-pointer and Eric Hawley’s lay-up had the ‘Cats rolling 27-11 about halfway through the first half. Sebastien Salois got into the act as he came off the bench and nailed a three-pointer (30-15) with seven plus minutes left in the half. With a little more than five minutes until halftime Raymont McElroy’s three-pointer put the ‘Cats up 33-17. NMU enjoyed a double-digit lead until towards the end of the half when the Lakers made two free throws and a lay-up.
Renelique made another three-pointer for a 48-38 score about two minutes into the second half. After the Lakers had the NMU lead to less than 10 points for a two minute span the ‘Cats answered with a 10-5 run to take the lead up to 66-51 with 12:50 left in regulation. McElroy’s three-pointer at 10:56 had the ‘Cats enjoying a 15-point cushion (71-56). With a little under eight minutes on the clock the Lakers had the NMU lead down to four points (71-67). A lay-up by Renelique a basket by the Lakers and then two free throws from Chris Warner had the ‘Cats up by six (75-69) with six plus minutes left in the game. With NMU holding onto a one-point lead the ‘Cats received a three-point play from Renelique for a four-point lead (78-74) with 4:17 on the clock. With about two-and-a-half minutes left in the game the Lakers tied the score at 78-all before taking an 80-78 lead. Murphy then made three of his four free throws to give NMU the lead once again 81-80 with under a minute to go. Renelique iced the win by making both of his free throws with a couple of ticks left ion the clock.
Renelique was the game’s high scorer as he went over 30 points for the second game in a row and third time this season. He ended the night with 33 points. Renelique was 9-18 from the floor which included 6-9 from beyond the arc as he was 9-10 from the free throw line. Three other ‘Cats ended the game with 10 or more points. Murphy had 12 points as Warner and McElroy added 10 each. McElroy added five assists in the win. Jared Benson pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Nick West led the Lakers with 23 points.
NMU made half of its shots from the floor (24-48 for 50 percent) for the game. The ‘Cats were 10-17 from the three-point line (58.8 percent). NMU took 31 trips to the free throw line and converted 25 of them (80.6 percent). The ‘Cats outrebounded the Lakers by one (30-29).
The ‘Cats face Ferris State Saturday (Feb. 13) at 1 p.m. at the Berry Events Center.
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Sports Information Director