Junior guard Ethan Blackwell connected on a three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the game, but the Northern Michigan University men's basketball team fell just short at Saginaw Valley State 56-55 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference action Thursday.
NMU fell to 4-11 overall with a 3-8 GLIAC record. Saginaw Valley improved to 6-9 overall with a 2-9 league mark.
Junior forward Chavis Mattison led the Wildcats with his second-straight double-double scoring 17 points and 12 rebounds. Blackwell added 14 for NMU.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 9-0 lead when Mattison hit a three-pointer with 16:06 left in the first half. The Cardinals came back and took a 34-33 lead at the break.
The game stayed within two possessions through the second half in a game that saw three ties and 11 lead changes.
A jumper by junior Larry Taylor gave NMU a 49-48 lead with 4:49 left in the contest. Saginaw Valley retook the lead on a three-pointer from Sterling Johnson with 4:00 left in the game and never relinquished it.
The Cardinals took advantage of 16 trips to the charity stripe, connecting on 10 of their free throw attempts. NMU was 2-4 from the free throw line.
The Wildcats shot 41.4 percent from the floor connecting on 23-55 attempts. SVSU connected on 19-42 from the floor for a 45.2 field goal percentage.
NMU outrebounded Saginaw Valley State 35-24 and scored 10 second-chance points to the Cardinals three.
Garrett Hall led the Cardinals with 19 points followed by Damon Bozeman who had 17.
The Wildcats return to action at Wayne State at 3 p.m. Saturday.