MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball team looks to bounce back as they continue their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road trip with games at Davenport University and Wayne State University this week.
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Last week: The Wildcats fell to two teams tied for first place in the GLIAC last week. On Thursday, NMU held a first half lead, but cold shooting in the second half forced the team to drop a 78-60 decision to Lake Superior State University. On Saturday, NMU again took a first half lead, but despite a late-game rally, were unable to hold off the seventh ranked team in Division II, falling to Ferris State University 74-71.
Howard grabs a career-high: In Saturday's contest with Ferris State, sophomore Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds. His high entering the contest was six. He also added four blocked shots, improving his season average and is second in the league with 2.0 blocks per game.
Echols returns in big way: Junior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) returned from injury and made a quick impact, scoring 23 points Saturday at Ferris State. He averaged 17.5 points for the weekend, hitting 50% from the three-point line and went five of six from the free throw line.
Dual-threat offense: Echols is currently fourth in the GLIAC with 17.5 points per game this season. Junior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) is right behind him in fifth place with 16.9 points per game. The duo gives NMU the only school with two scorers in the top five of the conference. In GLIAC games, Echols is averaging 19.6 points a game, placing him second while Johnson is averaging 17.2 per conference game, ranking him fifth in the league. Johnson is also tied for fourth in league-play with 7.7 rebounds per game.
January's road trip: The Wildcats are in the middle of a five-game road trip. Last week they visited Lake Superior State and Ferris State, and take on Davenport and Wayne State this week. Next week, the Wildcats finish the road trip with a trip to Houghton, Michigan to take on their rival, Michigan Technological University. After next Saturday, the Wildcats finish the season with six of their final eight games at home in the Berry Events Center.
NMU versus Davenport: Davenport rejuvenated their athletic programs in the 2002-03 school year, with men's basketball starting during 2003-04. The team became a varsity sport during the 2004-05 season, when they joined the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). This is the first year of play in the GLIAC for the Panthers. The Panthers started GLIAC play with a 3-0 record, but have dropped their last six conference games for a 3-6 GLIAC record. They are 9-8 overall for the season.
NMU versus Wayne State: Wayne State holds a slight lead in the all-time series with a record of 38-35. The team's split their matchups last season, with the visiting team winning each game, but the Warriors have won 11 of the past 13 matchups between the two. WSU split their GLIAC games last week and enter this week 8-6 overall, and tied with NMU in the GLIAC with a 6-3 record.