MARQUETTE, Mich.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚“ The Northern Michigan University menÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s basketball team lost its second gamein a row at Berry Events Center this week as both games came down to the wire. ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ThursdayÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™scontest the Wildcats were defeated by Saginaw Valley State University 74-73.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ NMU is now 8-7 in the GLIAC and 14-10 overall.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ SVSU stands 3-13 in theconference and 9-16 overall.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚
The ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats came out fired up, whenMatt LePage scored the first basket of the night 10 seconds into the game.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ SVSUÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s Tim Fralick answered back right a way with a lay-up to tie the score.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The game stayed close until Steve Watts sank a three-pointer for the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats at 14:53 of the first half.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Watts nailed two more three-pointers within three minutes togive the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats the advantage at 17-10.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Billy Hill did his share on the night,sinking his career 212th three-point shot at 7:24 to pull NMU ahead 30-19.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Hill now holds the NMU career record for most three-pointers made.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ TheÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats went into the locker room after the first 20 minutes of play leading theCardinals 47-36.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ NMU was 47.5 percent (19-40) from the floor and 41.2 percent(7-17) from behind the three- point line.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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. ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ NMU started out strong holding Saginaw Valley totwo points in the first two minutes of the second half.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ A lay-up from MarcoVolcy, nine seconds into the final 20 minutes started the scoring.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ A madethree-point shot by Jason Moore at 14:46, would put the Cardinals seven pointsbehind at 57-50.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Fralick made a second three for SVSU at 12:52 to put the score at 57-53.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ David Noel stepped up to the line and sank two for NMU at 12:46 to keep them in the lead, 59-53.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The Wildcats held onto the lead until 3:18 left in the game.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚
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.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Watts tied the game at 68-allat 2:55 by making one of his two free throws.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Moore sank a jumper for theCards at 1:21 to give them the final lead of the night at 72-68.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ LePage made ashot from the arc with 57 seconds left to put the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats down by one at 72-71.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Antwuan Holt was called for an offensive foul with 15 seconds left in the game,which turned the ball over.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚
With 12 ticks left on the clock Mooresank two from the charity stripe to put Saginaw Valley ahead by three 74-71.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The Wildcats called timeout for a last shot play. ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Holt shot the ball justshort with a couple seconds left on the clock.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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.
NMUÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s scoring was led by Watts, offthe bench, with a season-high 22 points. Volcy also played strong for the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Catswith a double-double, 10 points and 11 rebounds.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The battleof the boards was almost even as the Cardinals were four better than the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Catson the night at 46 to 42 rebounds.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ NMU had 21 assists on the night as Holt ledthe way with a team-high six helpers.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜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.