MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Men's Basketball Team for Northern Michigan University took on Minnesota State University-Moorhead and fell 84-69 to the hosts of the Microtel Classic.
NMU was led by senior Eddie Tornes (Muskegon, Mich./Cumberland CC), who finished with 17 points. Junior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) and sophomore Will Carius (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) added 14 each. Sophomore Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton) chipped in with 10.
Taylor paced the team with five assists. Defensively, Taylor and Johnson both finished with three steals. Taylor, Carius and freshman Dolapo Olayinka (Chicago, Ill./Mather) posted five rebounds each to lead the team.
The Wildcats pulled ahead early, taking a 14-9 lead seven minutes into the game. After a media timeout, the Dragons went on a 10-point run to take a 19-14 advantage. Carius made a layup to stop the run, but Moorhead responded with a three-pointer. Another Carius layup brought NMU to within four, but five-straight points pushed the hosts up 27-18 for, forcing an NMU timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, the Wildcats knocked the lead down to just three points, but Moorhead answered by pushing out to a 39-33 lead as the teams entered halftime.
The second half saw both teams make runs throughout the half. NMU pulled within three to open the half, but the Dragons responded by jumping ahead by eight points. This time, the Wildcats used three-pointers from Johnson and senior Jordan Perez (Greendale, Wis.), and a layup by Tornes to tie the game 54-54 with 11:42 to go.
The tied score didn't last long, as Moorhead went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes, which Tornes ended with a layup to move the score 64-56 with 8:41 remaining. The Dragons then improved the lead to 11 points and never looked back, pulling ahead to take the 84-69 victory.
The Wildcats drop to 2-1 on the season and return to action Saturday to take on Southwest Minnesota State University in the second day of the Microtel Classic.