MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team opened the 2013 portion of the schedule with its second Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory. The Wildcats held the lead for the whole second half and had four players in double figures, defeating Ashland University 73-66 on Thursday (Jan. 3) from the Berry Events Center.
With the win, the ‘Cats are now 3-8 overall and 2-5 in the GLIAC. Ashland is 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the conference.
“It was a good win to start 2013 with our circumstances,” NMU coach Doug Lewis said. “Any time you can get four guys in double figures and take pressure off one guy it’s going to help tremendously. We spread the ball, shared the ball and, more importantly, we took care of the ball and that’s what’s been killing us all season.”
Sophomores Kendall Jackson and Quinten Calloway each had 15 points for NMU while freshman Stephen Pelkofer added 14 and junior Matthew Craggs, 13.
The Eagles jumped out in the first few minutes and controlled the game early, taking a 7-0 lead. The Wildcats weathered the early onslaught and eventually took the lead at 23-21 with 6:26 left. The teams traded leads in the final minute with NMU taking the 32-31 advantage at the break.
The ‘Cats opened the second half with a 10-1 run, taking their largest lead of the game at 10 (42-32). The rest of the half was evenly played and NMU made 10 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the victory.
Both teams shot 48.9 percent from the field. NMU made 5-of-11 from three-point territory and 22-of-26 from the charity stripe. The ‘Cats outrebounded the Eagles 26-22 and generated 14 Ashland turnovers while only committing nine.
Junior forward Michael Smith had six points in his second start for the ‘Cats. Junior forward Scooter Johnson and freshman center Matt Iverson added four.
Ashland was led by Evan Yates with a game-high 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the floor. Ronnie Steward scored 10 while Cole Krizancic added nine.
Northern wraps up the weekend hosting Lake Erie College at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Storm lost 66-48 at Michigan Tech on Thursday.
# # # NMU # # #