MARQUETTE, Mich. — Grand Valley State used a second-half surge to down the Northern Michigan men's basketball team, 79-56, Saturday afternoon at the Berry Events Center.
At the end of the first half, the Lakers held a slim 28-26 advantage over the Wildcats. After Northern Michigan pulled ahead, 45-41, at the 14:10 mark of the second half on a Marcus Matelski three-point shot from the corner, Grand Valley State used a 20-0 run take a 61-45 lead.
Jordan Perez snapped the Wildcats' scoring drought at the 5:46 mark with a jump shot, but the Lakers extended their lead to 75-47, their largest of the game, on the strength of a 14-0 run by the 2:01 mark.
In an even first half, the teams were tied three times. Northern Michigan built its largest lead of the game, a 24-18 advantage at the 7:15 mark, after Sam Taylor found Matelski and Perez for three-point shots on back-to-back possessions and Naba Echols drained a jump shot.
With 3:55 left to play in the half, Luke Ryskamp was fouled during a three-point shot and proceeded to sink all three of his shots to give Grand Valley State a 26-24 edge. Brett Branstrom answered with a layup to tie the game at 26 with 1:21 on the clock, but Ben Lubitz sank a jump shot with 56 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 28-26 advantage going into the locker room.
Grand Valley State's Trevin Alexander had a double double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Three other Lakers scored in the double digits.
Isaiah Johnson (14), Perez (14) and Echols (10) led the Wildcats in scoring. Four Northern Michigan starters dished out three assists. Johnson led the team with eight rebounds.
The Wildcats shot 30.8 percent from the floor, 28.9 from three and 83.3 from the charity stripe. They went cold in the second half, shooting just 29.4 from the floor and 25.0 from three. They were outscored in the paint, 31-16.
Northern Michigan, now 6-12 (4-9 GLIAC), next hosts rival Michigan Tech on Monday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on FOX UP/TV6.