MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team finished its second season under the direction of coach Doug Lewis. The Wildcats finished 9-17 in 2011-12 and 5-14 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for a seventh place finish in the north division and 12th overall. NMU finished 6-7 at the Berry Events Center and were 2-9 on the road.
The ‘Cats five November games were all non-conference. NMU was 2-3 during the first month of the season with wins over UW-Superior (Nov. 12) and Michigan-Dearborn (Nov. 28). Great Lakes Valley Conference teams Lewis (Nov. 15), Saint Joseph’s (Nov. 25) and Indianapolis (Nov. 26), gave the ‘Cats three losses. Wins over Finlandia (Dec. 29) and Northland International (Jan. 9) rounded out the non-conference schedule for the Green and Gold.
The ‘Cats were defeated in the first GLIAC game at Michigan Tech (Dec. 3) but responded with two conference wins from the Berry Events Center over Tiffin (Dec. 8) and Ohio Dominican (Dec. 10). Losses at Grand Valley (Dec. 18) and Ferris State (Dec. 19) rounded out the 2011 portion of the schedule
January opened with a loss at home to MTU (Jan. 5) and the ‘Cats split on the road the next weekend with a loss at Saginaw Valley (Jan. 12) and a win at Lake Superior (Jan. 14). NMU put back-to-back wins together with a win over GVSU (Jan. 19) at the BEC followed by a nine-game losing streak.
The season ended in exciting fashion on Senior Day with a buzzer-beating 76-74 victory over Saginaw Valley. Senior guard DeAndre Taylor buried the game-winner in his final game as a Wildcat.
Senior center Jared Benson became the 29th player in NMU men’s basketball history to reach the 1,000 point mark. Benson reached the milestone against Northwood on Feb. 23 and ended his career with 1,026 points, placing him 27th on the career points list. The center concluded his final season with 303 points and 45 blocks.
Taylor led the ‘Cats in scoring with 366 points on the season for an average of 14.1 points per game. He appeared in all 26 games, starting 20. Taylor also led the team with 156 rebounds (6.0 per game) and shot 49.7 percent from the field.
Freshman guard Haki Stampley was second in scoring (351) with an average of 14.0 points per game. He started 22 of the 25 games he appeared in and led the ‘Cats in made three-pointers, with 50. Stampley scored in double digits 20 times with a career-high 29 points against Ohio Dominican (Dec. 10). He also led the team in assists (47) and steals (34) to recap a great first year.
Benson was the other ‘Cat in double figures with 11.6 points. Benson was second with 5.6 rebound per game while sophomore forward Matthew Craggs pulled down 5.5 boards.
Defensive specialist, junior forward T.J. Cameron, started 21 games, leading the team in minutes per game (32.0) and scoring 7.0 points per game. He had seven games where he scored in double digits.
Freshman Quinten Calloway appeared in 16 games, scoring 6.9 points per game with 29 assists. He scored a career-high 23 points against Findlay (Feb. 4).
Calloway, Cameron, Craggs, freshman forward Kendall Jackson, sophomore guard Spencer Huss, junior forward Joe Simon and Stampley are the seven players that will return for the 2012-13 season.
# # # NMU # # #