MARQUETTE, Mich. – Saginaw Valley State came to the Berry Events Center on Thursday night and handed the Northern Michigan its sixth Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss of the season. Keithan Jackson played in his fourth game of the season and led the Cardinals to their first conference win, 97-68, over the Wildcats.
Greg Foster and Keithan Jackson have missed a combined 25 games this season but dominated, scoring 51 total points. Jackson scored 30 himself. The Cardinals (5-8, 1-6 GLIAC) hit 18 three-pointers and shot 50 percent from the field.
“Saginaw played well and hit their threes.” NMU head coach Doug Lewis said. “Foster and Jackson are phenomenal players.”
Martin Gross led the Wildcats (6-8, 1-6 GLIAC) with 15 points. Chris Paquin scored 12 and DeAndre Taylor added 11. Jared Benson didn’t score in double figures for the second time this season and second game in a row. Benson was in foul trouble and picked up his fourth with 17:00 to go. He ended up with eight points, five of them from the free throw line.
“Benson isn’t getting any room to work in the paint. Everyone’s collapsing and making our perimeter shoot but we aren’t making out shots.” Lewis said. “Our guards really need to help out our big man.”
NMU shot 34 percent from the floor and hit nine of its 29 three-point attempts. The Cardinals outrebounded the ‘Cats 39-29.
"Martin (Gross) played well tonight. He had a tough defensive matchup with Foster." Lewis said.
Sean Romsek, Dan Ganther and Keithan Jackson hit three-pointers to open the second half and extend the 16 point half time lead to 25. The Cardinals led by as many as 32 in the second half.
“We’ll make some adjustments and keep working to get better.” Lewis said.
SVSU led 50-34 at half. The Cardinals jumped out to a quick 16 point lead to start the game. Sean Romsek hit four three-pointers and Keithan Jackson and Greg Foster combined for 21 points.
NMU was down by as many as 19 but was able to cut the lead to 10 off three-pointer from Martin Gross and Chris Paquin. Paquin led the ‘Cats with nine off three triples. DeAndre Taylor added eight as NMU shot only 32 percent in the first half. NMU did hit all 11 of its free throws in the first half.
NMU hosts Lake Superior State on Saturday (Jan. 15) from the Berry Events Center. Game time is set for 1 p.m. The Lakers defeated Michigan Tech by one (62-61) on Thursday night in Houghton.
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