MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball team visits Lake Superior State University and Ferris State University this week in games to decide first place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Video is not currently available for these games.
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Last week: NMU opened the 2017 calendar year with their largest win of the season, a 75-56 victory over Tiffin University. Saturday saw the Wildcats in a back-and-forth affair with Ashland University, but a half-court shot at the final buzzer wasn't quite enough as the Wildcats fell 55-54.
Taylor's career-high: Sophomore Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton) posted a career-high with six assists against Tiffin on Thursday. Filling in as the team's starting point guard, he also added a career-high of seven rebounds while scoring 10 points with two steals.
Eddie gets the lead: Senior Eddie Tornes (Muskegon, Mich./Cumberland CC) scored the team's first eight points against Tiffin Thursday night. He took the opening tip in for a layup, then hit back-to-back threes to give NMU an 8-2 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Four in double-figures: Four players averaged double-figures this past weekend. Junior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) led the team with 17.5 points, including a 26-point game against Tiffin. Tornes averaged 16 points, scoring 14 Thursday and added 18 against Ashland. Taylor posted 11 points a game while sophomore Will Carius (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) chipped in with an average of 10 points in the two games.
Defense wins game: Fueling the team's six wins in GLIAC play has been the team's defense. They are allowing just 65.3 points in conference games, the leagues second-best mark, and just .2 points shy of the leader, Ashland. They are also second in the league in steals, averaging 7.1 per game, and blocked shots with 3.6 a game. The Wildcats lead the GLIAC by grabbing 26.9 defensive rebounds. Despite being a guard-oriented team, the Wildcats are third in total rebounds with 36.7 a night.
NMU versus Lake State: The Lakers were ranked #24 in the country last week, but are coming off a 63-60 loss to Wayne State University Saturday. NMU holds a 63-38 edge in the all-time series, but have just won three times since the 2006-07 season, including a current nine-game streak.
NMU versus Ferris State: The Bulldogs enter this week ranked #7 nationally and are currenty on a four-game win streak. The NMU-FSU series dates back to the 1925-26 season, and NMU holds a 68-61 edge. The Bulldogs enter Saturday's matchup on a four-game win streak in the series.