Banged up Wildcats look to stop slide

MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team will attempt to snap a four-game losing skid at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Sault Ste. Marie against Lake Superior State before playing in Midland against Northwood at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Lakers are coming off a 71-62 loss to Grand Valley State and 69-58 win over Ferris State, while Northwood upset Ferris, 76-66, and GVSU, 59-49, a week ago.

Averaging 17.3 points per game, Derek Billing is pacing the Lakers while senior Derek Kinney averages 13.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game to complement the junior.

Northwood presents a more balanced scoring attack than LSSU with sophomore Will Bowles posting 13.1 points per game, senior Wes Wilcox averaging 12.3 points per game and senior Andrew VanDierenDonck scoring 12.1 points per contest.

For Northern, Matthew Craggs is the lone Wildcat averaging double digits in scoring at 14.4 points per game. Craggs has posted more than 20 points on three occasions this season with 21 points coming in a loss to Saginaw Valley State at home on Thursday. He had 11 in the loss to Wayne State on Saturday.

NMU had only eight players available last week out of the 14 names on its roster.

Two freshmen – Derek Hussinger and Jeron Lee – are redshirting this season, as is sophomore Haki Stampley due to an undisclosed illness that hospitalized him at the beginning of the season.

Redshirt freshman point guard Terry Nash is out for the remainder of the season with a fractured foot, junior Michael Smith is out with a torn ligament in his foot and junior Scooter Johnson has a torn ligament in his shooting hand.