MARQUETTE, Mich. – Despite a strong start out of the gates, the Northern Michigan men’s basketball saw its halftime lead collapse, falling 68-64 to visiting Lake Superior State on Thursday (Feb. 9) at the Berry Events Center.
With the loss, NMU falls to 8-14 on the season and 4-11 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Wildcats have now lost six games in a row. LSSU improves to 11-11 on the season and 6-9 in the GLIAC.
The Lakers jumped out to an early seven point, 10-3 lead by the 15:24 mark with a layup from Derek Kinney to cap a 7-0 run. The ‘Cats soon clawed back with a run of their own, retaking the lead with a basket from freshman forward Kendall Jackson with 9:51 left to go before the break. NMU’s 10-0 run over the two minute stretch proved pivotal, as the ‘Cats took a 37-28 lead into the half.
Out of the break, LSSU’s offense came out firing on all cylinders retaking the lead for good with just over 13 minutes to go. NMU could get no closer than four points down the stretch as the streaky shooting that led to a halftime lead dissipated and foul troubles proved costly.
The loss marked the second straight game that NMU has fallen after leading at the half and the third time during the six game skid.
Similar to the completion of the earlier women’s game, NMU ended the game with a made half court shot from freshman Quinten Calloway as the buzzer sounded.
NMU was led by senior guard DeAndre Taylor and freshman guard Haki Stampley who each poured in 16 points. Senior center Jared Benson also netted eight points and nine rebounds.
The Lakers were paced by Derek Billing with 23 points.
NMU shot only 37.3 percent (22-for-59) from the field and 26.3 percent (5-for-19) from three-point land.
The Lakers held the edge on the glass, outrebounding the ‘Cats 36-35.
NMU is back in action next week when it travels to Lake Erie (Feb. 16) and Ashland (Feb. 18). Tipoff against Lake Erie is set for 8 p.m.
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