HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Northern Michigan men’s basketball team got off to a slow start against Michigan Tech and lost its second game in a row, 60-74, on Thursday night. The Huskies played solid defense on Jared Benson, shot 52 percent from the floor and got 22 points from Ali Haidar to defeat the ‘Cats for the second time this season.
Jared Benson entered the game averaging 17.3 points per game and scoring in double figures in every game of the season. MTU’s Ali Haidar and Nate Kindt played solid post defense all night and had good backside help to hold Benson to only eight points.
NMU (6-7, 1-5 GLIAC) had only one player in double figures as DeAndre Taylor scored 13 points on 6 -for 12 shooting. The ‘Cats shot 42 percent from the floor and were only 6 -for- 22 from the three-point line. The ‘Cats finished with only 10 turnovers after committing seven in the first half.
Curtis Pettit saw his first action as a Wildcat at the point guard position. Pettit came in for Matt Everson in the first half and played 22 minutes, scoring seven points with three assists and only one turnover.
Michigan Tech (10-3, 5-1 GLIAC) had three players in double figures to snap its two-game losing streak, led by Haidar’s 22. Mike Hojnacki scored 12 and Jordan Reetz had 11.
The Huskies shot 52 percent from the floor and 50 percent from thee-point land. MTU leads the nation in three-point percentage. The Huskies also made 21 of their 26 free throws. The Huskies outrebounded the ‘Cats 35-22 and had 28 points in the paint.
Michigan Tech led by as many as 15 in the first half, after taking an 8-0 lead to start, but a pair of free throws by Martin Gross cut the deficit to 13 for the ‘Cats as he was fouled at the buzzer on a three-point heave. Both teams had turnover problems with the ‘Cats committing seven and the Huskies six. MTU shot 50 percent to NMU’s 30.4.
NMU has a week off before hosting Saginaw Valley State (Jan. 13) and Lake Superior State (Jan. 15).
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