SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Four players reached double-figures as the Northern Michigan men's basketball team defeated Lake Superior State 63-55 on Saturday (Jan. 14).
With the win, NMU improves to 7-8 on the season and 3-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The win also snaps a four-game conference losing streak. LSSU falls to 7-8 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
In a defensive battle, both teams forced 18 turnovers and combined for 62 defensive rebounds.
The Wildcats started the game leading 5-3 with a jumper from freshman guard Haki Stampley at the 15:47. The Lakers took their first lead of the game with a dunk from Kyle Hunt with 14:21 on the clock for a 7-5 lead. The two squads went back and forth throughout the remaining minutes of the first stanza, with LSSU taking a 23-20 lead into the break
NMU took back the lead at the 17:01 mark of the second half with a three-pointer from senior guard DeAndre Taylor to make the game 30-27. LSSU managed to regain the lead with 12:42 on the clock with a three-pointer from Hunt.
The 'Cats stole the lead right back from the Lakers with a split pair of free throws from freshman forward Kendall Jackson at the 11:03 mark and held on for good.
NMU outscored LSSU 43-32 in the second half.
The 'Cats were led in scoring by Taylor, who netted 19 points and three steals. NMU was also led by senior center Jared Benson, who recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Stampley and sophomore forward Matthew Craggs also reached double-figures with 12 and 10 points respectively.
The Lakers were led by Kyle Hunt with 21 points and 10 boards.
NMU shot 36.5 percent (19-52) from the field and 23.1 percent (3-13) from beyond the arc.
The Lakers outrebounded the 'Cats 49-46
NMU returns home to the Berry Events Center next week for a pair of divisional games, hosting Grand Valley State (Jan. 19) and Ferris State (Jan. 21). Both games are part of a doubleheader with the women's basketball team.