Press Box

NMU Loses In Final Seconds


MARQUETTE, Mich.â€Â“ The Northern Michigan University menâ€Â™s basketball team lost its second gamein a row at Berry Events Center this week as both games came down to the wire.  Thursdayâ€Â™scontest the Wildcats were defeated by Saginaw Valley State University 74-73. NMU is now 8-7 in the GLIAC and 14-10 overall.  SVSU stands 3-13 in theconference and 9-16 overall. 


The â€Â˜Cats came out fired up, whenMatt LePage scored the first basket of the night 10 seconds into the game. SVSUâ€Â™s Tim Fralick answered back right a way with a lay-up to tie the score. The game stayed close until Steve Watts sank a three-pointer for the â€Â˜Cats at 14:53 of the first half.  Watts nailed two more three-pointers within three minutes togive the â€Â˜Cats the advantage at 17-10.  Billy Hill did his share on the night,sinking his career 212th three-point shot at 7:24 to pull NMU ahead 30-19.  Hill now holds the NMU career record for most three-pointers made.  Theâ€Â˜Cats went into the locker room after the first 20 minutes of play leading theCardinals 47-36.  NMU was 47.5 percent (19-40) from the floor and 41.2 percent(7-17) from behind the three- point line.  SVSU was shooting 43.3 percent(13-30) from the floor and 25 percent (3-12) from the arc.


The second half was a differentstory for the Green and Gold.  NMU started out strong holding Saginaw Valley totwo points in the first two minutes of the second half.  A lay-up from MarcoVolcy, nine seconds into the final 20 minutes started the scoring.  A madethree-point shot by Jason Moore at 14:46, would put the Cardinals seven pointsbehind at 57-50.  Fralick made a second three for SVSU at 12:52 to put the score at 57-53.  David Noel stepped up to the line and sank two for NMU at 12:46 to keep them in the lead, 59-53.  The Wildcats held onto the lead until 3:18 left in the game. 


Mekele Cooper came up strong for theCardinals to put them in the lead for the first time in the second half at 68-67with a little over three minutes left in the game.  Watts tied the game at 68-allat 2:55 by making one of his two free throws.  Moore sank a jumper for theCards at 1:21 to give them the final lead of the night at 72-68.  LePage made ashot from the arc with 57 seconds left to put the â€Â˜Cats down by one at 72-71. Ã‚ Antwuan Holt was called for an offensive foul with 15 seconds left in the game,which turned the ball over. 


With 12 ticks left on the clock Mooresank two from the charity stripe to put Saginaw Valley ahead by three 74-71. The Wildcats called timeout for a last shot play.  Holt shot the ball justshort with a couple seconds left on the clock.  Keder Hyppolite reboundedputting the ball up to make the final basket of the night at the buzzer, makingthe Green and Gold one point shy of the win, 74-73.


NMUâ€Â™s scoring was led by Watts, offthe bench, with a season-high 22 points. Volcy also played strong for the â€Â˜Catswith a double-double, 10 points and 11 rebounds.  The Wildcats shot 39.7percent (29-73) from the field, 33.3 percent (8-24) from the arc and 58.3percent (7-12) from the free throw line.  Saginaw Valley finished with 42.6percent (26-61) from the floor, 35 percent (7-20) from the behind thethree-point line and 68.2 percent (15-22) from the charity stripe.  The battleof the boards was almost even as the Cardinals were four better than the â€Â˜Catson the night at 46 to 42 rebounds.  NMU had 21 assists on the night as Holt ledthe way with a team-high six helpers.  The â€Â˜Cats had eight blocks for the gameas Volcy led the way with four rejections.


NMU will play their final home regularseason game for the 2003-04 campaign on Saturday (Feb. 21) against Lake Superior State University at 3:00 p.m.



Prepared By
Kayla Rice