MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Men's Basketball Team for Northern Michigan University takes on Purdue University Northwest and Grand Valley State University in their first road Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchups of the season.
The action starts Thursday as the Wildcats take on Purdue Northwest at 8 p.m., 7 p.m. CT. Thursday's contest can be followed with video and live stats. The team then continues to Grand Valley State on Saturday and play at 3 p.m. in a matchup that features video and live stats. Both games can also be followed with audio.
Follow @NMU_Wildcats for continued updates throughout the week.
Last week: The Wildcats opened GLIAC action with two wins last week. NMU collected an 82-71 victory over Northwood University. On Saturday, they came back and defeated Saginaw Valley University 86-69.
Johnson's career-high: Junior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) paced the NMU offense by averaging 25.5 points per game over the weekend. In Saturday's win over the Cardinals, Johnson scored a career-high 29 points on 11-16 shooting. He also grabbed nine rebounds.
Three in double-digits: Junior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) and freshman Dolapo Olayinka (Chicago, Ill./Mather) also averaged double-figures for the weekend. Like Johnson, Echols averaged over 20 points, posting 22 points a game. Olayinka reached 10 points, scoring his career-high of 12 against Northwood Thursday.
Attacking the boards: The Wildcats are outrebounding their opponents this season. NMU outrebounds the other team by an average of 34.2-32.9. On the offensive side, they have tallied 102 offensive rebounds while only giving up 85 this season. Carius lead the team with 15 offensive rebounds, leading Johnson's 12. Olayinka and sophomore Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton) have both grabbed 11 so far this season.
Defensive strengths: Sophomore Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) is second in the GLIAC with 2.0 blocks per game. He has totaled 16 blocks so far this season. Taylor leads the team with 13 steals while Johnson and senior Eddie Tornes (Muskegon, Mich./Cumberland C.C.) both have posted 10. On the season, NMU has notched 54 steals while their opponents have only tallied 36.
NMU versus Purdue Northwest: Thursday night will be the first time these teams have ever played each other. The Pride enter the game looking for their first win of the season. In their GLIAC opener, they fell to Davenport University 98-58, then played tight with Wayne State University before going down 73-66.
NMU versus Grand Valley State: The Lakers have dropped their last four games and are 3-5 on the season. GVSU holds a 49-31 all-time edge over the Wildcats and until last year's 82-77 NMU victory, had won nine straight times.