MARQUETTE - Grand Valley State twice built big leads in the first half, making the second one stick for the rest of the game in a 64-41 victory over the Northern Michigan University men's team at the Berry Everts Center on Thursday night.
The Lakers, 11-2 overall and 7-2 in the GLIAC, jumped out to a 15-6 lead less than seven minutes into the game only to have the Wildcats (3-10, 2-7) pull within 17-13 less than two minutes later on a jump shot by junior forward Chavis Mattison, a layup by sophomore guard Terry Nash and 3-pointer by freshman guard Marcus Hall.
GVSU reeled off a 21-7 run to finish the half and take a 38-20 lead into the break. Northern never got closer than 16 points during the second half.
"It was a real tough one for us," NMU head coach Bill Sall said. "Over the course of this new year, I think we have done a nice job of making some steps forward and done some good things.
"Today was definitely a step back. From the get-go, we looked lethargic and GVSU looked like they were ready to go at it. They flat-out beat us in every facet of the game."
Mattison came off the bench to score a game-high 13 points, hitting on 6 of 7 shots including his only 3-point try. Nash was next in scoring with eight points, while 6-foot-8 sophomore Brandon Havercamp added game highs of seven rebounds and three blocks.
Despite Mattison's proficiency, the Wildcats made just 32.7 percent from the field (18 of 55) and a paltry 15 percent on 3s (3 of 20).
Trevin Alexander scored 12 points to lead a balanced GVSU scoring attack as three of his teammates also scored in double figures. The Lakers made 46.2 percent from the field (24 of 52) and exactly half their triple tries (8 of 16).
Next up for Northern is a home game against Sall's former team, Ferris State, at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the BEC. Prior to this year, Sall coached the Bulldogs for 11 seasons, leading them to four GLIAC division titles and three appearances in the NCAA Division II tournament.