BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball team began a stretch of five-straight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road games Thursday night by visiting Ferris State University but fell to the Bulldogs 78-67.
| STAT LEADERS
Senior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn.) led the way with 26 points, tying a career-high with six three-pointers on the night. Senior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) added 15 points and tied for the team's lead with six rebounds. Junior Marcus Matelski (Boyne Falls, Mich.) added nine points.
| THE FIRST HALF
Johnson made a free throw to get the game started but Ferris State answered with nine straight points to lead 9-1. Echols stopped the rally with a jumper with 13:19 on the clock but the Bulldogs responded with four points when Johnson made a layup and a free throw making it 13-7 with 11 minutes to go.
Johnson added a tip in and another free throw before FSU made a basket and free throw to go up 16-10 at the 8:24 mark. Echols responded with two three-pointers to tie the game at 16-16 with seven minutes to go in the half.
After the Bulldogs made a jumper, Matelski hit a three to give NMU their first lead, 19-18 at the 5:35 minutes. Echols then added another three before FSU made a three to respond, making the score 22-21 with 4:14 in the half.
FSU made two free throws but Fruin followed with a three and made it 25-23 with 3:22 on the clock. The Bulldogs answered with a jumper but Johnson made two free throws to give the Wildcats back the lead. FSU then scored again but Echols answered with another three-pointer to make it 30-27 with two minutes to go in the half.
The Bulldogs responded with six points to end the half with a 33-30 lead.
| THE SECOND HALF
FSU scored twice before Echols sank two free throws. The Bulldogs answered with four points. Fruin made a layup in response but Ferris State again scored four points and made the score 45-34 just over three minutes into the second half.
Howard made a free throw before two free throws by the hosts. Echols followed with a three-pointer and after an FSU free throw, Summers hit a jumper to make the score 48-40 with 12:39 to play.
Taylor made it 48-42 with a jumper but the Bulldogs responded with a three and a jumper to go back up 53-42. Johnson responded with a layup. Ferris State made a basket then Matelski made a three, and a second three-pointer after another FSU score.
A Summers layup then made the score 57-52 with 7:47 on the clock, but the Bulldogs answered with two free throws. Echols responded with two free throws of his own, but the hosts made a layup before Johnson sank a free throw. After another FSU score, Echols cut the FSU lead down to 64-58 with 5:32 left by hitting another three-pointer.
Johnson sank two more free throws to make it 64-60 with less than five minutes to play but Ferris State responded with two baskets. Echols then made a free throw, as did FSU, but the Bulldogs added a layup before a Taylor jump shot and Echols free throw. After FSU free throw, Taylor hit a three and made the score 72-67 with two minutes to play.
Unfortunately, NMU was unable to score again and fell to the Bulldogs 78-67 after FSU sank free throws in the final minutes.
| UP NEXT
The Wildcats fell to 14-9 on the season and 9-7 in the GLIAC while FSU improves to 18-9 and 10-6 in the conference. The Wildcats will look to bounce back Saturday as they visit Lake Superior State University as NMU and LSSU are currently tied for fifth place in the league.