Echols Gets 30 but Wildcats Fall to #3 Bulldogs

Echols Gets 30 but Wildcats Fall to #3 Bulldogs

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Junior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) scored a season-high 30 points in Saturday's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference matchup with NCAA Division II's third ranked team, Ferris State University, but the Wildcats fell 98-84.

Echols scored 19 points in the second half and finished the game just one point shy of his career high.  Sophomore Will Carius (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) added 17 points and a team-best eight rebounds.  Junior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) chipped in with 15 points. 

Senior Jordan Perez (Greendale, Wis.) and sophomore Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton) both added nine points.

Carius hit a three-pointer to put the Wildcats on the board first, but the Bulldogs answered with four points to take the lead.  Johnson answered with a three, which FSU followed with six points to go ahead 10-6.  After an Echols layup, the guests scored four points, but Taylor sank a three to make it 14-13 five minutes into the game.  Johnson then put NMU back on top, 15-14, with a jumper.  The Bulldogs responded with a quick five-point run, which sophomore Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) ended with a dunk. 

At the second media timeout of the first half, the Bulldogs were ahead 21-17, and freshman Dolapo Olayinka (Chicago, Ill./Mather) moved the Wildcats closer with a layup.  However, FSU answered with a six-point run to go ahead 27-19 with 6:20 on the clock.  Echols sank two free throws, but the Bulldogs added four more points before an Echols layup made it 31-23 with just under four minutes to play in the first half. 

Perez helped get NMU closer with a tip-in, and Echols knocked in a free throw, but the guests hit a three on their next possession to make it 34-26. Echols and Taylor followed with back-to-back layups, but a Ferris State three-pointer made it 37-30 with two minutes to go until halftime.  Echols closed out the half with a layup to answer an FSU layup and the teams went into the break with the Bulldogs ahead 39-32. 

To start the second half, the teams traded baskets, but FSU was soon up 14, 50-36 less than four minutes in.  Threes from Johnson and Perez sandwiched an FSU jumper to make it a ten-point deficit, but the Bulldogs responded to take a 59-44 lead.  The teams continued to trade scores until two free throws by Carius got the NMU deficit back into single digits, 63-54 with nine minutes to play.

FSU scored on the next possession, but the Wildcats continued to work and a jumper by Carius at the 7:47 mark made it 67-59. However, NMU would be unable to get any closer and eventually fell to the third-ranked Bulldogs.

The Wildcats fell to 14-11 on the season and are now 11-7 in the GLIAC while FSU improved to 27-1 on the year, 17-1 in the GLIAC. NMU returns to action Thursday and will host Davenport University in the Berry Events Center