MARQUETTE - Following Thursday's 26-point home loss to Hillsdale, Northern Michigan University head men's basketball coach Doug Lewis was calm, cool and collective as he gave credit to the Chargers for handing the Wildcats their fifth loss of the season in six games.
After Saturday's 18-point loss to No. 13-ranked Findlay at the Berry Events Center by 18 points, Lewis was less than pleased.
"We were pathetic," Lewis said. "We were pathetic and that all goes on me as a coach. That was a piss-poor effort.
Northern Michigan University junior Scooter Johnson dunks as time expires in the first half against Findlay on Saturday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Journal photo by Matt Wellens)
"At the end of the day, effort belongs to me. That's my fault."
The Wildcats fell to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the GLIAC via an 80-62 loss to the Oilers, setting up a long week of practice - on top of fall semester final exams - for Lewis' squad leading up to a pair of games in Ohio against Ohio Dominican on Dec. 16 and Tiffin on Dec. 18.
For one, Lewis plans to have his team practice shirts and skins, which may be the least of their worries.
"They aren't even going in the locker room," Lewis said. "They're banned from the locker room. They banned from putting Northern Michigan gear on. Until they understand about playing with pride, they don't deserve to be in the locker room."
Northern was within one of the Oilers midway through the first half before it started to give the ball away, literally.
Four Wildcat turnovers in a span of 64 seconds allowed the Oilers to turn a seven-point advantage in 15 points.
In the second half, NMU sophomore Quinten Calloway nailed a pair of 3 pointers and sophomore forward Kendall Jackson added a jumper to bring Northern within 10 with 14:11 to play, but the Oilers went on a 21-3 run over the next nine minutes with the Wildcats turning the ball over eight times during the run.
By the time the final buzzer sounded, NMU had committed 20 turnovers for the second time this season. The first was in a 67-56 loss to Lincoln (Pa.) in Milwaukee at the Fresh Coast Classic.
"I'm so upset because we're not representing Northern Michigan the way it's supposed to be represented on the court," Lewis said. "That's playing hard and playing together. Right now we're turning the ball over, we got sloppy play, we have kids pouting. It all falls on me. We're going to get this corrected, trust me."
The turnovers essentially negated a memorable night for Calloway, who went 7-of-7 from field goal range with six 3-pointer and a season-high 21 points. Calloway's only missed basket was the first of his two free throws late in the game.
"They set a good screen and I was able to get open," Calloway said.
"I don't shoot like that every day. I don't know what happened."
Junior forward Scotter Johnson posted 14 points and junior forward Matthew Craggs finished with 12 as Northern shot 54.8 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range.
Findlay picked up 18 points from guard Aaron Robinson and 16 from Mark Filling off the bench.
The Oilers shot 56.9 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc, but it was the Oilers 66.7-percent success rate on field goals in the first half which really set off Lewis, whose team's only win this season is against Finlandia.
"I'm a defensive minded coach," Lewis said. "When you let a team shoot 66 percent in the first half, you can't even beat a team at the YMCA, letting a team shoot 66 percent."