Wildcat Men's Basketball Edged by Tiffin, 81-68

Wildcat Men's Basketball Edged by Tiffin, 81-68

TIFFIN, Ohio — The Northern Michigan men's basketball team was edged by Tiffin, 81-68, Thursday night.

With 15:10 left in the game, the Dragons held a 47-38 lead. The Wildcats clawed back, using a 12-0 run to take a 50-47 advantage with 12:30 on the clock. Marcus Matelski capped the run with a three-point shot to put Northern Michigan ahead on the scoreboard.

By the 9:39 mark, Tiffin had tied the game at 52 all. The Dragons then used a 12-0 run of their own to build a 64-52 advantage with 5:18 remaining in the game.

Matelski drained another three-point shot eight seconds later to end Tiffin's run, but Juwan Johnson answered with a three-point shot to put his team right back up by 12. Another Matelski three-point shot drew Northern Michigan within 10, at 68-58, with four minutes remaining.

While the Wildcats would twice draw within nine points, the Dragons closed out the game on a 13-10 run to secure their victory.

At the end of a back-and-forth first half, Northern Michigan trailed Tiffin, 36-33. The Dragons controlled the first 10 minutes, building a 20-12 advantage. The Wildcats battled back in the last 10 minutes, scoring 21 of the final 37 points to draw within three. Naba Echols's long three-point shot to tie the game at 27 with 5:26 to play was a highlight of the half.

Starters Echols (16) and Sam Taylor (15) scored in the double digits. Matelski came off the bench to contribute 12.

Jordan Perez hauled in a team-best eight rebounds and also chipped in nine points, the fourth-highest total on the team. Echols had three steals while Myles Howard posted four blocks.

Northern Michigan shot 41.5 percent from the floor, 32.0 from three and 54.5 from the charity stripe. Tiffin held a 42-24 edge in points in the paint and a 51-34 advantage in rebounds.

The Wildcats, now 3-8 (1-5 GLIAC), return to the court Saturday by taking on Ashland at 3 p.m.