ASHLAND, Ohio — The Northern Michigan men's basketball team dropped a 67-48 decision to Ashland Saturday at the Kates Gymnasium.
In the first 15 minutes of the first half, the Wildcats and Eagles traded baskets. They were tied five times in the early goings, including at 15 all with 5:38 to play. Northern Michigan used a 7-0 run highlighted by an Isaiah Johnson three-point shot to reach the 15-15 tie.
After that, Ashland began to pull away, closing the half on a 9-2 run to take a 24-17 advantage into the locker room. In the first minute of the second half, Marcus Matelski drained his first of five three-point shots to draw the Wildcats back within four.
But the Eagles responded with a 7-0 run to build a 31-23 advantage by the 17:01 mark. Two-straight three-point shots by Matelski, and a layup by Naba Echols, pulled Northern Michigan within three, at 31-28, with 15:33 remaining.
Ashland again responded, going on an 11-2 run to pull ahead, 42-30, by the 11:29 mark. Two-straight three-point shots by Boo Osborne, and two made free throws by Adrian Cook, gave the Eagles their largest advantage of the game, at 52-32, with 5:47 to play.
The rest of the way, the Wildcats outscored Ashland, 16-15.
Matelski led the Northern Michigan offense, posting a career-best 17 points. He made five of his eight three-point attempts in the game. Echols (12) and Isaiah Johnson (11) also reached the double digits in points.
The Wildcats shot 40.0 percent from the floor, 33.3 from three and 66.7 from the free-throw line. The Eagles scored 18 of their points off of turnovers and narrowly outscored Northern Michigan in the paint, 26-22.
With the loss, the Wildcats fell to 3-9 (1-6 GLIAC). They continue their road stretch next week, facing off against Saginaw Valley State on Jan. 12 and Wayne State on Jan. 14.
(Photo credit: Ashland University Athletics)