MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball team concludes the regular season with two games inside the Berry Events Center.
On Thursday, the Wildcats welcome Davenport University for a 6 p.m. start time. The game can be followed with audio, live stats and video. Thursday's game is hosted by Bruce Roberts of Roberts Financial Services, Inc.
Follow @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter for continued coverage throughout the week.
The team's lone senior: Prior to Saturday's game with Wayne State, the team's lone senior, Jordan Perez (Greendale, Wis.) will be recognized. Perez has adjusted to a new role this season as the team's sixth-man, but has helped the team to their best season since 2007-08 and first GLIAC Tournament appearnance in a decade. Perez became the 31st player to achieve 1,000 points in his career and enters this week averaging 10.6 points for his career.
Last week: NMU hosted the top two teams in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference last week but were unable to pull out an upset. The Wildcats hosted Lake Superior State University Thursday, and despite a one-point deficit in the middle of the second half, NMU was unable to get past the Lakers. On Saturday, the team featured three in double figures but fell to the #3 team in the nation, Ferris State University.
Echols goes for a season-high: In Saturday's contest with FSU, junior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) scored a season-high 30 points. Echols finished the game 9-17 from the field, and went 10-12 from the free throw line. He came just one point shy of his career-high, a 31 point showing against Saginaw Valley State University in January of 2016.
Carius scores big on Thursdays: Sophomore Will Carius (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) scored 21 points Thursday, the third-straight Thursday he has scored at least 20 points, and the third time in the past six games he has reached 20 points. The previous week he scored a season-high 22 points at Northwood. He is averaging 18.5 points during this six-game stretch.
Howard's block party: Sophomore Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) blocked layup attempts by the Lakers on three straight possessions Thursday night. he Wildcats turned these into seven-straight points which helped bring NMU within one point with eight minutes left to play. Howard finished the game with four blocks.
Playoff outlook: The team has clinched a spot in the GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals, making their first appearance since the 2008 tournament. The Wildcats are currently in fourth place, one game back Wayne State and one game ahead of Ashland University and Michigan Technological University, who are tied for fifth. Ferris State is locked in at the #1 seed while Lake Superior State is two games ahead of Wayne State for the two seed.
NMU holds the tie-breaker over Wayne State, heading into Saturday's game and will continue to hold it with a win. Ashland holds the tie-breaker over NMU and MTU while the Wildcats and Huskies split their season series. Tech hosts Wayne State Thursday and Davenport on Saturday.
Ashland hosts Saginaw Valley State University Thursday and Northwood University Saturday. Davenport and Northwood are two games back of Saginaw Valley for the eighth and final tournament berth, and would be eliminated with either a loss or a Saginaw Valley victory. The top four teams will host a quarterfinal game. Based on various results, the Wildcats could enter the tournament anywhere between the third and sixth seed.
NMU versus Davenport: The Wildcats defeated the Panthers 91-82 in the first-ever matchup earlier this season. Five players reached double figures in what was the highest offensive output of the season for NMU and first time they scored 50 points in a half, scoring 51 in the second half.
NMU versus Wayne State: NMU defeated the Warriors 83-74 earlier this season continuing a recent trend of the visiting team winning. Junior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) scored a career-high 30 points as the Wildcats featured a total of four players score at least 10 points. The team was down at the half, but outscored the hosts 49-39 in the second half to get the win.