MARQUETTE - Blowout losses in GLIAC play have set off Northern Michigan University's third-year men's basketball coach Doug Lewis before at the Berry Events Center.
Thursday, however, Lewis was calm, cool and collective. His Wildcats just got whooped by a superior basketball team.
"It's a funny game because they just outplayed us, and at the same time, I wasn't mad at our kids because we competed," Lewis said. "(The Chargers) were just way better than us. That's just the bottom line. We couldn't score."
Northern Michigan senior TJ Cameron (1) goes up for a basket against Hillsdale redshirt freshman Jason Pretzer during the first half on Thursday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Journal photo by Matt Wellens)
The Wildcats dropped to 1-5 overall and 0-3 in GLIAC play with a 70-44 home loss to a Chargers' team that shot 51 percent from field goal range and 57.9 percent from beyond the BEC arcs.
Hillsdale, which improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the league, hit 11-of-19 3-point attempts, with Cody Pritzl knocking down 3 of 5 and Tony Nelson coming of the bench to hit 3 of 4 treys.
Pritzl and Nelson weren't even the Chargers' leading scorers as both Tim Dezelski and Nick Washburn totaled a game-high 17 points.
Dezelski only missed two buckets the entire evening, shooting 7 of 8 on field goals, 2 of 3 on free throws and he drained his lone 3-point attempt.
"It was another frustrating night," NMU senior TJ Cameron said.
"They were hot, but we have to talk out there on defense. We have to communicate better as a team. It has to get better on the defensive end."
Cameron led the Wildcats with 11 points, while juniors Matthew Craggs and Scooter Johnson - who fouled out with 7:56 to play - each scored nine.
"If we didn't get anything inside from Scooter, we didn't have anything else," Lewis said.
Northern was held to 37.8 percent shooting on field goals, 45.5 percent on triples and 83.3 percent from the free throw line, though NMU only attempted six free throws, making five.
True freshman Steven Pelkofer played nearly the entire game at point guard with redshirt freshman Terry Nash out for the weekend with an injury and sophomore backup point guard Quinten Calloway limited due to an injury, as well.
Calloway, who had to play point guard last season with Nash ineligible, only saw seven minutes of action. Pelkofer played 39 minutes, totaling nine points and four assists.
Lewis said after Thursday's game Nash's injury isn't as serious as originally thought and could be back as early as next weekend.
Nash won't be available for Saturday's 1 p.m. game against the Findlay Oilers at the BEC, however.
"Putting Pelkofer at the point, it takes away from his game. He's not a true point guard," Lewis said.
"(Getting Nash back) will help us get Pelkofer back to his regular spot so we can free him up and be able to score."
Notes: NMU was outrebounded by Hillsdale 31-17. ... NMU trailed 24-6 with 11:27 to play in the first half before cutting the margin to seven at halftime, 31-24. ... The tightest margin in the second half came with 16:29 to play with NMU down seven, 37-30.
Matt Wellens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252.