MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team (5-3, 0-1 GLIAC) was clicking on all cylinders Tuesday night as it defeated Finlandia University (1-11), 102-74, from the Berry Events Center. The ‘Cats controlled the game from the opening tip and never looked back.
Jared Benson had his fourth 20 point game of the season as he led the ‘Cats with 22. Benson has scored in double figures in all eight of the Wildcats games this season.
Matt Everson had another great performance running the team from the point guard position. Everson scored 17 points on 7 -for- 9 shooting. He was also 3 -for- 3 from the three point line and had eight assists and zero turnovers.
“Matt has grown up quick.” Assistant coach Malcolm Fields said. “If he continues to do what he is being taught at practice, he will turn into a great player for this program.”
Mylan Murphy and DeAndre Taylor each scored 16 points. Matthew Craggs had 15 and Chris Paquin chipped in with 10.
Finlandia had trouble handling the ball and committed 17 turnovers. The Lions did score 14 second chance points to the Wildcats 8.
The Lions had four players in double figures led by Jonathan Moore’s 17. Jerrod Owens had 13 for the Lions while Tyler Luebbe scored 11 and Dominic Morrow had 10 on 5 -for- 5 shooting.
NMU led 55-34 at the half as four of the ‘Cats starters had double figures. Taylor and Murphy each registered 11, while Benson and Everson chipped in with 10. The highlight of the first half was Taylor’s thunderous tomahawk alley-oop jam from Everson as they hooked up for the second game in a row.
Finlandia was lead at the half by Jonathan Moore and Tyler Luebbe who each paced the Lions with nine points. Luebbe shot 3 -for- 4 from the three point line in the first half.
NMU finished the game shooting 57.8 percent from the field and had 19 assists on its 37 field goals. The Lions shot 44.1 percent and were outrebounded by one (40-39). Neither team shot that great from the three point line or the foul line.
Next up for NMU is a match-up with GLIAC North leader Grand Valley State (7-1, 3-0 GLIAC) on Saturday (Dec. 18). Game time is set for 1 p.m. The ‘Cats will turn around and face Ferris State (6-3, 3-1 GLIAC) on Sunday (Dec. 19) afternoon with a 1 p.m. tipoff.
The Lions travel to Alma on Friday (Dec. 17).
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