MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan men’s basketball team held the No. 11 ranked Grand Valley State Lakers to over 20 points below their season average but couldn’t manage enough points of its own, losing 52-61 Saturday afternoon from the Berry Events Center.
The Wildcats trailed by 10 most of the second half and pulled with nine with two minutes to go on a Jared Benson layup but the Lakers held on to win by nine after each team hit a pair of free throws. NMU is now 5-4 overall and 0-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Grand Valley is 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference.
“We missed some opportunities when they played zone. We just weren’t in it mentally at times.” NMU head coach Doug Lewis said. “Our defense wasn’t bad but they missed some open shots.”
Grand Valley came to Marquette scoring the most points in the GLIAC at 84.6 points per game and shooting 51.7 percent from the field. The Wildcats held the Lakers to season-low 61 while shooting 41 percent from the field.
NMU shot 37 percent from the floor and was only 4 -for-23 from the three point line. The ‘Cats were led in scoring by DeAndre Taylor with 19 and Jared Benson had 14. Benson also had a game-high eight rebounds.
Grand Valley led 25-20 at half. The game was tied 6-6 for the first nine and a half minutes of the first half before Grand Valley went on a 15-5 run to lead by 10 with 5:06 to go. NMU committed11 turnovers in the first half leading and were led in scoring by DeAndre Taylor. Taylor had a monster put back dunk off a missed three pointer at 4:27 in the first half.
NMU plays the second game of its back-to-back when Ferris State comes to town on Sunday (Dec. 19). Game time is set for 1 p.m. Ferris lost to Michigan Tech on Saturday, 71-74 in Houghton.
“We have to be prepared for tomorrow. Forgetting about this game and getting focused for Ferris is vital.” Lewis said.
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