PAINESVILLE, Ohio. – Despite one of its best shooting performances of the season, the Northern Michigan men's basketball team was unable to hold onto to a halftime lead tonight, falling 74-62 to Lake Erie College on (Feb. 16).
For the third straight game, the Wildcats fell after piecing together a strong first half performance and a halftime lead.
With the loss, NMU falls to 8-15 on the season and 4-12 in the GLIAC. The 'Cats have now dropped seven straight in conference play. The Lakers improve to 9-14 on the season and 4-12 in the GLIAC.
The Lakers jumped out to an early, 16-9 lead by the 12:32 mark when Jamil Dudley sank one of his four three-pointers. The 'Cats slowly began to eat away at the Lakers lead and netted their first lead of the half with 7:16 left on the clock when senior guard DeAndre Taylor nailed a jumper to make it a 22-21 NMU lead.
NMU and Lake Erie went on to trade points over the next seven minutes before Taylor once again answered the call, splitting a pair at the charity stripe with under 30 seconds left to send NMU into the half up 32-31.
The 'Cats connected on 53.8 percent (14-for-26) from the floor in the first half.
Out of the break, NMU and Lake Erie continued to play a tight game, exchanging leads throughout the 11 minutes of the second half. Lake Erie eventually broke free from the trend, going on a 5-0 run to take a 51-46 lead with 8:16 left in the contest. The 'Cats struggled to crash the boards on the offensive end and were prevented from getting within any closer than three points, as the Lakers capitalized at the free throw line.
NMU was led by freshman guard Haki Stampley, who scored 16 points off the bench. Taylor and Benson also reached double-figures, netting 13 and 11 points respectively.
The Lakers were led by Dudley with 24 points. Dudley paced five Lake Erie players in double-figures.
NMU shot 49.0 percent (25-for-51) from the floor and 25.0 percent (3-for-12) from three-point land.
The 'Cats held a plus three edge on the glass, outrebounding the Lakers 29-26.
NMU is back in action this Saturday (Feb. 18) at Ashland. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.