NMU men fall before Lakers on road

SAULT STE. MARIE – The Northern Michigan University Wildcats kept up with No. 19 Lake Superior State for a half before fading after the break.

The Lakers used a second-half surge to defeat the Wildcats 71-55. Sophomore guard Marcus Hall led NMU with 15 points, while freshman guard Jordan Perez chipped in 14.

Lake Superior State opened the game scoring the first 11 points to take an early lead. A jumper from Perez cut the lead to five at 28-23 with 4:09 remaining in the half, but that was as close as the Wildcats (9-17, 7-13 GLIAC) would get as the Lakers led 35-29 at the break.

Perez knocked down a 3-pointer to cap Northern’s quick 9-3 run to open the second half and brought the Wildcats within a point, 39-38, with 15:58 to play. But the Lakers late made a move with an 8-2 run, extending their lead to 58-48 with 6:14 to go and staying comfortably ahead the rest of the way.

The Lakers scored 22 points off of 13 NMU turnovers, while the Wildcats only could manage eight points after forcing 12. Lake State also made 62 percent of its shots (28 of 45) to 41 percent for Northern (20 of 49).

Alex Williams paced LSSU with 20 points, while Mike Smutny added 15.

NMU travels south to Midland to play at Northwood at 3 p.m. Saturday.