MARQUETTE, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University men's basketball team fell to Northern Michigan University today (Feb. 25), 76-74, in their 2011-12 season finale. The Cardinals fall to 10-16 overall and 6-13 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the Wildcats improve to 9-17 on the year and 5-14 in the conference.
The Cardinals were led by Meijer "Player of the Game" Brett Beland (Menominee, Mich.) who recorded a career-high 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting including 5-of-10 from the three-point line.
Northern Michigan held a slim lead to start the contest before Beland connected from three-point range to give SVSU the 12-10 advantage with 14:10 to go in the first half.
After the Wildcats took the lead, SVSU's Chris Webb (Saginaw, Mich./Arthur Hill HS) tied up the contest at 17 at the 9:40 mark of the half when he dropped in a jumper from beyond the perimeter. Webb finished the afternoon with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor, including 4-of-8 from the perimeter.
Rob Clark (Saginaw, Mich.) made a tough bucket in the paint with 5:22 to go in the half as the Cardinals trimmed the deficit to 26-23.
Northern Michigan entered the locker room with a 39-28 advantage. Webb and Beland posted 13 and ten points in the first half, respectively.
Saginaw Valley came out strong in the second half and chipped away at the Wildcat lead as Beland hit a jumper making the score 43-37 at the 16:15 mark of the second half.
As Northern Michigan tried to extend their lead, Matt Burgess (Capac, Mich.) made a jump shot to bring the Cardinals within 45-39 with 12:01 remaining in the contest.
Beland once again capitalized from beyond the three-point arc to cut the Wildcat deficit to just two, 50-48, with 11 minutes to play in regulation.
The Cardinals would cut the Wildcat margin to 59-58 at the 7:34 mark as Michael Fugate (White Lake, Mich./Lakeland HS) drove to the hole, made a bucket and converted on the and-one opportunity.
After a Cardinal bucket, Greg Foster (Indianapolis, Ind./T.C. Howe HS) stole the errant inbounds pass to bring SVSU within 68-66 with 4:50 to play in the contest. Foster finished his final game in an SVSU uniform with eight assists and three steals.
Eli Redman (Bath, Mich.) got to the foul line on the next possession and made two free throws to bring the Cardinals even with the Wildcats at 68-68 with four minutes to go.
Northern Michigan built a five-point lead over the next two minutes before Beland went to the free throw stripe and made two free throws to cut the Wildcat lead to 73-72 with one minute to go.
Redman got to the free throw line after a defensive rebound and made one of two foul shots to tie up the contest at 74-74 with 15 seconds left.
However, on the final possession Northern Michigan's DeAndre Taylor drove to the bucket and made a running floater as time expired and the Cardinals fell 74-72.
The Cardinals shot 50 percent from the field in the contest on 25-of-50 shooting, including 15-for-20 from the free throw line.
This contest concludes the 2011-12 Saginaw Valley State University men's basketball campaign as the Cardinals thank seniors Greg Foster, Eli Redman and Sean Romsek (Fowlerville, Mich.).