MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team will play two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) games at home this weekend. First up for the ‘Cats (5-3, 0-1) will be date with North Division leader Grand Valley State on Saturday (Dec. 18) at 1 p.m. The Lakers come into Marquette with a record of 7-1 overall and 3-0 in the GLIAC. The Wildcats will then play Ferris State (6-3, 3-1 GLIAC) on Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. tipoff as well
After picking up a pair of home wins this past week NMU is 5-3 overall and 0-1 in the GLIAC. The Wildcats defeated Finlandia University (102-74) on Tuesday night (Dec. 14) and Northland College (86-47) on Dec. 10. NMU is the only team in the GLIAC who has only played one conference game this season.
Leading the ‘Cats is junior center Jared Benson, averaging 18.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Benson recorded his fourth 20 point game on Tuesday as he led all scorers with 22. He has scored in double figures in all eight games this season for the Wildcats and also has registered 13 blocks. Junior transfer DeAndre Taylor is averaging 12.6 points in his first season with the ‘Cats. Freshmen Matt Everson has found his rhythm at the point guard position as he scored a career-high 17 points against Finlandia and had eight assists.
GVSU comes into town averaging a GLIAC high 84.6 points a game. Senior Justin Ringler leads the Lakers with 14.5 points and 5.3 rebounds. Grand Valley is coming off a conference win over Northwood University 71-63. James Thomas paced the visiting squad with 13 points. Freshmen Asauhn Tatum leads the GLIAC in blocked shots on the season with 16. The Lakers also lead the league in steals per game averaging 10.
Sunday afternoon’s game against Ferris State looks to be full of excitement as the Bulldogs Justin Keenan leads the GLIAC in scoring with 20.9 points per game. NMU will have to have a solid performance on defense in stopping both Keenan and the offensive attack of FSU as the Bulldogs are fourth in the GLIAC in offense rebounds averaging 12.9. FSU last game was also a win over Northwood. The Bulldogs defeated the Timberwolves 76-65. Darien Gay led all scorers with 23 points in the win. Gay also scored 27 points in the Bulldogs prior loss to Hillsdale College.
After this weekend’s GLIAC contests the Wildcats will be on the road until Thursday Jan. 13 when they return to the Berry Events Center to face Saginaw Valley State University.
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