MARQUETTE, Mich.- The Saginaw Valley State men's basketball team began its final full weekend road trip of the regular season on Thursday night, making a stop to Northern Michigan University. The Cardinals overcame a nine-point deficit by shooting an even 50% from the field in the second half to come away with the 63-62 victory over the Wildcats.
Northern Michigan scored the first points of the contest with a pair of three-pointers that pushed their lead out to 6-0. C.J. Turnage briefly stopped the offensive barrage of NMU, scoring his first points of the game at the 17:58 mark. NMU then rattled off eight straight points, increased the lead to 14-2 with 15:49 to play in the half. The Wildcats continued its strong shooting into the first media timeout, as they led 19-6 over SVSU at the stoppage.
The Cardinals cut the NMU lead to nine points after Caleb Davis split on a pair of free throws. Northern Michigan would respond with another scoring run, this time a 7-2 edge, giving the Wildcats a 28-12 lead on SVSU with 8:43 to play. Saginaw Valley would push back with baskets from Turnage and Garrett Hall that slashed the deficit to just seven points. The Wildcats then regained a nine-point cushion by making good on a jumper at the 2:57 mark of the first half.
Wade Gelhaus hit a free throw to keep the score at 34-26 with 2:00 remaining in the first half. NMU then scored on a three-pointer, jumping ahead by 11 points. Saginaw Valley would counter on its final possession of the half as Jake Daniels scored while driving to the basket.
Northern Michigan missed on its final shot of the half and carried a 37-28 edge over SVSU into the locker room.
Saginaw Valley began the second half taking a block from Gelhaus down the floor for a made layup from Turnage at 19:28. The bucket by Turnage sparked the SVSU offense, who were able to cut the Northern Michigan edge to 39-38 with a 10-2 scoring run. It took the Cardinals 4:01 of play to pull within one of the Wildcats at the media timeout.
Northern Michigan kept the one-possession edge over the Cardinals by knocking down a mid-range jumper. SVSU only took a point off the board as Hall converted on a free throw at the 14:00 mark. The Wildcats would not surrender the lead to SVSU after scoring off a block from Devin Dixon. Another mid-range make sent the Wildcats into the under-ten media stoppage with a 45-41 lead and 10:08 left to play.
Saginaw Valley tied the game for the first time at 47-47 after a steal from Garrett Hall was heaved down court to Turnage for the dunk. NMU briefly regained the lead in the contest after making good on a jumper. SVSU would grab its first lead of the night with a long make from three-point land at the 6:31 mark that made it 50-49. A pair of free throws and a made jump shot from NMU made the score 53-50 in favor of the Wildcats. The Cardinals would go ahead once again with Jake Daniels converting on two free throws for the 54-53 lead.
SVSU's largest lead was just two points, coming from a three-point make from Garner exiting the final media timeout. Northern Michigan countered the SVSU basket with a three of its own, tilting the score to 58-57 with 2:12 left to play. NMU's lead was a short one, as the Wildcats fouled Hall under the rim, sending him to the line to complete the three-point play. Hall missed on the shot, which the Wildcats used to go ahead 60-59 at the 1:28 mark in the second half.
Turnage helped the Cardinals jump ahead 61-60 with 31 seconds left as he knocked down a mid-range jumper. SVSU would squander the late advantage with just six seconds remaining. The Cardinals would get the final shot of the game and would have to send Turnage to the stripe as he was fouled at the rim grabbing his own offensive rebound.
C.J. stepped to the free throw line with a chance to win the game for SVSU. He would make good on both of the shots and helped the Cardinals secure a last-second 63-62 win on the road, splitting the season series with the Wildcats.
Inside the Boxscore
- C.J. Turnage recorded his ninth double-double of the season for the Cardinals, scoring 26 points and pulling in 13 rebounds in the victory. He also matched his career-high four blocks in the contest and was named the Meijer "Player of the Game".
- Garrett Hall finished tonight's matchup with 14 points, four assists and a season-high three steals.
- Jake Daniels chipped in with 10 points for Saginaw Valley.
- The Cardinals won the rebound battle, 33-32, over the Wildcats and finished with nine steals as well. SVSU was forced to just six turnovers.
- SVSU also outscored the Wildcats 28-0 in bench points.
- There were 11 total lead changes (all in the second half) and three ties during today's game.
The Cardinals continue their trek through the Upper Peninsula with a Saturday afternoon (Feb. 11) matchup with the Michigan Tech Huskies. Tip-off from SDC Gymnasium is set for 2:00 p.m. The Huskies defeated SVSU, 93-72, back on Jan. 14 at O'Neill Arena.
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