The Northern Michigan University men's basketball team won its first game of the Mike Turner Classic on Friday (Nov. 15) evening from Albion, Mich. The Wildcats defeated Mount Vernon Nazarene, 75-62, in a non-conference game to start the season at 1-0.
In the first half, there were five different lead changes between the two teams. With just under a minute remaining in the half, the Wildcats went up 26-24 to take the lead for good on a jump shot by freshman forward Dorrell Foster. An added layup by freshman guard Marcus Hall in the closing seconds of the half gave NMU the 28-24 advantage at the break.
The Wildcats dominated the second half, including a 7-0 run to open the half for a 35-24 lead. The run included points by Hall, sophomore forward Brandon Havercamp and junior forward Justin Newell. From there, NMU led the remainder of the game by nine points or more to claim the victory.
NMU was led by Hall with 29 points on seven two-pointers, one shot from beyond the arc and went 12-for-13 from the free throw line. Newell added 18, while Foster finished with 10. The Wildcats shot 23-for-58 (39.7 percent) from the floor and were 26-for-31 (83.9 percent) from the charity stripe.
Foster led the rebounding with a total of eight, six defensive and one offensive. Havercamp and Hall each added nine. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Cougars, 45-29 on the evening.
For the Cougars, Caleb Williams led with 18 points on eight field goals and two free throws. Martell Medley (11) and Julian Henderson (10) also entered the scoring column in double figures. As a team, Nazarene shot 23-for-58 (39.7 percent) and were 9-for-18 (50 percent) at the free throw line. Roby Eric led in rebounds with a total of seven.
The Wildcats continue play in the tournament tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the championship game, playing against the winner of Albion College v. College of Faith.