SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University's Men's Basketball team held a nine-point lead in the first half, but were unable to overcome shooting woes in the second half, falling to Lake Superior State University 77-60 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action Thursday night.
Junior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) led the squad with 16 points. Junior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) added 12 points and five rebounds while sophomore Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton) chipped in with 10 points and a team-best five assists.
Sophomore Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) finished the game with a team-high seven rebounds.
Sophomore Will Carius (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) gave the Wildcats the first score with a three-pointer, and Echols added another three to give NMU an early 6-0 lead. After the Lakers tied the score, senior Eddie Tornes (Muskegon, Mich./Cumberland CC) hit back-to-back three-pointers to put NMU ahead 12-6.
LSSU hit a three, but Johnson extended the lead to 14-9 with a layup, followed by another Tornes three-pointer. The Lakers found a bucket, but senior Jordan Perez but NMU ahead 20-11 with 13:14 to go in the first half.
The teams traded baskets, but Lake State then went on a run which brought the NMU lead to just 22-20 before Echols hit a three-pointer, followed by threes from Carius and Johnson to give the Wildcats a 31-20 lead.
The hosts answered with a 10-0 run before Johnson hit another three to get NMU back up 34-30. He then made a layup and the Wildcats were back up four. The teams battled throughout the final two minutes, and after a Laker basket at the end of the half, NMU took a 40-38 lead into halftime.
Out of the break, the Wildcats were unable to overcome their shooting woes as the Lakers opened the second half on a 19-0 run in the first seven minutes. Down 17, NMU inched as close as 13 points, but could not get their hot shooting back from the first half, falling 77-60.
The Wildcats fall to 9-5 on the season, 6-2 in the GLIAC while Lake Superior State improved to 13-3, 7-1 in the league. NMU will look to bounce back Saturday afternoon as they visit Ferris State University.