MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan men’s basketball returns home to the Berry Events Center this week, hosting divisional rivals Grand Valley State (Jan. 19) and Ferris State (Jan. 21) for a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference north division contests.
The ‘Cats enter the matchup at 7-8 on the season and 3-5 in the GLIAC. NMU is coming off of a weekend split, with a 67-60 loss at Saginaw Valley State and a 63-55 win at Lake Superior State. Sophomore forward Matthew Craggs scored a career high 22 points in the loss to SVSU, while senior guard DeAndre Taylor led the ‘Cats with 19 points and three steals in the win over LSSU.
NMU is led by freshman guard Haki Stampley and Taylor. The duo have led the ‘Cats in scoring in 12 of the 15 games this season, while senior center Jared Benson went on to lead NMU in two contests and Craggs led the ‘Cats in one contest. Stampley is averaging 15.2 points per game and ranks ninth in the GLIAC in scoring. Taylor is averaging 14.3 ppg and leads the team in rebounds with 6.3 boards per game.
The Lakers enter the contest at 9-6 on the season and 5-4 in the GLIAC. GVSU has dropped two straight, with a 63-59 loss to Northwood (1/11) and a 60-50 loss to Hillsdale (1/14).
The ‘Cats are 30-41 all-time against the Lakers dating back to the 1973-74 season. GVSU has won 10 of the last 11 meetings including a 67-60 decision over NMU back on Dec. 18.
The Bulldogs enter Saturday’s game at 9-6 on the season and 6-2 in the GLIAC. FSU stands in first place in the north division.
NMU has historically dominated the all-time series at 66-52, dating back to the 1925-26 season. The Bulldogs however have won seven straight in the series including a 57-49 win back on Dec. 19 in Big Rapids.
Thursday’s game is part of a doubleheader, with the women’s game set to tipoff at 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s matinee game is scheduled for 3 p.m. with an autograph session with the players to be held after the game.
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