NMU Men's Basketball Falls To Lake Superior State
This story was written by NMU Sports Information.
Story from LSSU Athletics is posted at the bottom of the page.
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The Northern Michigan men's basketball team fell 74-68 on Saturday at Lake Superior State, ending its winning streak at 13, tying the all-time program mark set in 1984-85.
It was a hard and gritty battle in the Soo, as the Wildcats found themselves on the wrong end of a 17-10 foul margin, with both Max Weisbrod and Carson Smith fouling out late, giving the Lakers a window to finish the job.
With that came a massive discrepancy at the free throw line, where LSSU went a whopping 23-26 to just a 1-3 mark for NMU.
In an extremely tight fought contest that saw many similar stat lines across the box score, the massive amount of extra free throws by the Lakers proved to be the difference.
Weisbrod was once again spectacular for the Green and Gold, scoring 22 points on 9-18 shooting. Dylan Kuehl wasn't far off with 17 points. Sam Schultz continued to be one of the country's top rebounders, pulling down a game-high 11 with five coming on the offensive end. LSSU's Kingsley Perkins also scored 22 points to lead the way for the home squad.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 17-6 overall and 10-1 in the conference, but they still hold a three-game lead over LSSU and FSU at the top of the GLIAC leaderboard.
The Wildcat offense saw its struggles early on, converting just one of its first ten attempts from the floor. The lone triple from Riley Brooks was the only NMU points five minutes in, as they trailed 6-3. The struggles continued over the ensuing minutes as LSSU led 10-4, but a short 5-0 run closed it back to a one-point game with a dozen minutes left on the first half clock.
The intensity really started to kick in between the GLIAC's top two squads, as the sides were playing with physicality and hustle. Three-pointers from Carson Smith and Max Weisbrod just under two minutes apart closed the deficit to one each time, but the Lakers answered each time, not giving up its slight edge.
The Wildcats finally grabbed the lead back at 2:32. Back-to-back buckets from Dylan Kuehl triggered a Laker timeout, with NMU ahead 28-27. It didn't live long with the Lakers attacking the paint and scoring the next tripe down the floor, but a splash from Kuehl beyond the arc was the last points of the half, lifting NMU to a 33-31 intermission advantage.
NMU really had its struggles defending the paint, as 22 of LSSU's first half points came down low. Kingsley Perkins accounted for 14 on 6-7, leading all scorers. Kuehl led the 'Cats with nine at the break.
The game couldn't be played much closer to open the second half. Blow after blow, the teams exchanged the lead. There were already a dozen lead changes before eight minutes went off the clock in the half, with neither team leading by more than three.
That trend continued until the Lakers went on an 8-2 run to go ahead by four, 63-59, with 5:30 to play. It failed to last, as Weisbrod stepped into a triple a minute later and the game was once again even at 64's.
With five minutes left and the game still up in the air, Carson Smith picked up his fifth personal foul, removing a vital component of NMU's offense from the game with the game still in the balance.
In addidtion, in the closing minute and the game still within one possession, Weisbrod was called for two fouls and fouled out as well. Without its starting guards, the offense wasn't able to create a productive shot and LSSU converted at the charity stripe late to secure the win.
STORY BELOW COURTESY OF LAKE SUPERIOR STATE ATHLETICS
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The Lake Superior State (LSSU) men's basketball program (15-6, 7-4 GLIAC) closed out a 74-68 victory over the Northern Michigan (NMU) Wildcats (17-6, 10-1 GLIAC) to hand the Wildcats their first loss in conference play and end their 13-game win streak on Saturday.
Kingsley Perkins (Ypsilanti, Mich.) proved to be a force in the paint, making the Wildcats pay for switching their guards onto him in the post with the first four Laker buckets in the post, and a three from the top of the key by Hunter Soper (Lexington, Mich.) had LSSU leading by four.
Both teams would go back and forth as back-to-back layups from Xander Okerlund (Empire, Mich.) helped LSSU nurse a slim lead, but the Lakers would ultimately find themselves trailing by only two points after a first half that saw them shoot 1-11 from three-point range.
Perkins wasted no time tying up the score to open the second half, but both teams would trade the lead multiple times with Soper and Okerlund each hitting a three.
The lead continued to trade hands several times throughout the half, with neither team able to build a lead greater than three. Then, after Perkins knotted up the score at 68-68, Andy Soma (Traverse City, Mich.) stood tall in the paint to draw a charging foul to earn a pivotal defensive stop.
Devin Womack (Ypsilanti, Mich.) repaid the effort on the other end after driving in four two to give the Lakers the lead in the final minute, and after a stop on the other end, Soper and Okerlund closed out the game at the free throw line to take down the top-ranked team in the GLIAC standings.
Four Lakers finished the day in double-figures, led by Perkins with 22 points while also securing nine rebounds and blocking two shots defensively. Soper finished with 16 points while also grabbing nine boards, and Okerlund and Womack finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively.