PAINESVILLE, Ohio — The Northern Michigan men's basketball team upended Lake Erie, 82-67, Saturday evening.
The Wildcats surged to an early 26-8 lead and never looked back en route to their first GLIAC victory of the season.
Northern Michigan scored 12 of the game's first 16 points, highlighted by a game-opening Will Carius three-point shot and an Isaiah Johnson bucket from beyond the three-point arc. The Wildcats then held the Storm off the board from the 14:20 mark to the 8:03 mark, scoring 12 points over that span.
Northern Michigan didn't slow down, scoring 18 points the rest of the way to take a 44-21 advantage into the locker room. By the end of the half, Naba Echols (13), Isaiah Johnson (13) and Jordan Perez (10) had already reached the double digits in points.
The Wildcats carried the momentum from the first half into the second, building a 51-33 edge by the 16:37 mark. While the Storm would draw within eight, at 59-51, at the 9:39 mark, that's as close as they would come. The rest of the way, every time Lake Erie netted a basket, Northern Michigan responded in kind.
Echols tied his season-high with 24 points. Isaiah Johnson (19) and Perez (14) also scored in the double digits. Brett Branstrom tied Nick Wells for the game high with eight rebounds, which also matched his career-best total.
The Wildcats shot 55.4 percent from the floor, 38.9 percent from the three-point arc and 56.5 percent from the charity stripe.
Northern Michigan, now 3-5 (1-2 GLIAC), will return to the Berry Events Center next weekend to take on Findlay (Dec. 15, 8 p.m.) and Hillsdale (Dec. 17, 3 p.m.).