BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The Northern Michigan men's basketball team was dropped by No. 24 Ferris State, 96-74, Thursday night at Jim Wink Arena.
At halftime, the Wildcats were in position to knock off the GLIAC-leading Bulldogs, down only 36-35. Naba Echols then drained three-straight shots to start the second half to give Northern Michigan a 41-36 advantage with 17:46 left to play.
By the 15:18 mark, Ferris State had drawn ahead, 44-43. From that point on, the teams traded baskets until they reached a 48-48 stalemate with 13:42 on the clock.
At that point, the Bulldogs began to pull ahead, using a 7-0 run to take a 55-48 edge by the 12:55 mark. Back-to-back three-point shots by Noah King and D'Angelo Hughes extended the Ferris State lead to 67-50 with 10:54 left to play.
The Wildcats would cut the deficit to 10, at 79-69, with 3:40 remaining in regulation after Jordan Perez sank a three-point shot and Isaiah Johnson made a layup on back-to-back possessions. That was as close as Northern Michigan would come to completing the comeback.
The first half featured momentum swings. After Ferris State raced out 10-3 lead, the Wildcats made it an 11-9 game by the 15:41 mark. Northern Michigan took a 32-31 lead with 2:22 left to play on the strength of an 8-2 run, highlighted by a three-point shot by Sam Taylor.
After an Echols three-point shot put the Wildcats up, 35-33, with 1:39 on the clock, King answered with a three-point shot to send the Bulldogs into the locker room up a single point.
Echols surpassed the 20-point threshold for the third-straight game, dropping 23. Taylor (15) and Marcus Matelski (14) also scored in the double digits. Johnson led the Wildcats with eight rebounds while Echols chipped in four helpers.
Northern Michigan went 8-for-14 from three in the first half but went 4-for-13 in the second half. Overall, the Wildcats shot 42.6 percent from the floor, 41.4 from three and 83.3 from the charity stripe.
Ferris State's Zach Hankins had a double double with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Markese Mayfield also had a double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. They were among five Bulldogs who scored in the double digits.
Northern Michigan, now 7-17 (5-14 GLIAC), next takes on Grand Valley State in Allendale, Mich. on Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be streamed on WatchESPN and the ESPN App.