Mattison’s big night can’t prevent loss to top team

MARQUETTE – Chavis Mattison notched his sixth straight double-double on Thursday evening, but it wasn’t enough to avert a Northern Michigan University loss at home to the top team in the GLIAC, Saginaw Valley State.

The senior forward scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds while also making a team-high three assists, but the nation’s 20th-ranked team still came out on top 82-72 at the Berry Events Center.

The Wildcats fell to 9-15 overall and 7-11 in the GLIAC North Division, which could put a dent in an effort to secure one of eight GLIAC Tournament berths. NMU entered the night one game behind a trio of teams that held down the Nos. 7 and 8 positions.

One of those teams, Hillsdale, will come to the BEC at 1 p.m. Saturday.

On Thursday, Northern freshman guard Jordan Perez put in 23 points to share scoring honors with SVSU’s Damon Bozeman. Perez was 9 of 14 from the field, including 2 of 4 on 3 pointers, while making six rebounds. Northern freshman forward Alex Sorenson pulled in a dozen rebounds while scoring seven points and making three blocks.

The Cardinals (20-4, 16-2 GLIAC North) jumped out to a 14-6 lead before NMU narrowed it to 20-18 with 12:15 left in the first half on a layup by freshman Cooper Radtke.

SVSU extended the lead again to 38-26 before Northern repeated its catchup mode and got it down to 40-35 by halftime. Mattison had 16 points and seven rebounds in the opening half.

In this game of spurts, NMU started the second half on a hot streak to take its only lead all night, 43-42, when Sorenson sent in a tip-in with 17:22 left.

The lead lasted less than 20 seconds as Bozeman nailed a triple to put SVSU back on top, a lead it rebuilt to 54-44.

A Mattison jumper cut it to four, 54-50, about a minute later but after one more Cardinals streak, they stayed ahead by at least eight points for the game’s final five minutes.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.