MARQUETTE - The Northern Michigan University men's basketball team returns from its holiday break on Sunday for a nonconference road contest at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. Tip off is set for 4 p.m.
The Wildcats (2-7 overall, 1-5 in GLIAC) closed the 2012 fall semester with a split on the road in GLIAC play. NMU defeated Ohio Dominican in Columbus, 77-73, on Dec. 16 for its first conference win of the year before losing at Tiffin, 62-55, on Dec. 18.
Three Wildcats are averaging in double figures in scoring, with junior forward Matthew Craggs averaging 15.2 points per game, redshirt freshman point guard Terry Nash - who has only appeared in three games due to injury - averaging 12 points per game and junior forward Scooter Johnson scoring 10.9 points per contest.
Northern Michigan University junior forward Matthew Craggs drives into the paint against Hillsdale on Dec. 6 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. Craggs is averaging 15.2 points per game to lead NMU in scoring. (Journal file photo by Matt Wellens)
Nash, who has been sidelined since Nov. 24, is hitting 59.3 percent of his shots from the field while Craggs is shooting 49 percent, including 48.6 percent from 3-point range.
Senior forward TJ Cameron is second in the GLIAC in 3-point percentage. He's hit 13 of his 24 attempts - or 54.2 percent - but only averaging 8.3 points per game.
Another hot shooter for the 'Cats in the first half of the season was sophomore forward Kendall Jackson, who hit 31 of 52 chances - or 59.6 percent. That's good for third in the GLIAC.
Lewis, which won in Marquette 87-53 last season, is the Wildcats' final nonconference opponent of the 2012-13 year. NMU is 1-2 outside the GLIAC having beaten Finlandia and lost to Winston Salem State and Lincoln (Pa.).
Lewis is 5-2 overall this year, on a four-game winning streak and undefeated at home. Like the Wildcats, three players are averaging in double figures in scoring with Ryan Jackson leading the Flyers averaging 17.9 points per game.
Defensively the Flyers are holding opponents to an average of 59.1 points per game and under 40 percent shooting. Offensively, Lewis is averaging 72 points per game and hitting 47.8 percent from the field.
NMU is averaging 69.6 points per game while opponents are putting up 70.2 points per outing. The Wildcats are shooting 46.8 percent from the field.
Northern, which only played three home games thus far in 2012-13, returns to the Berry Events Center on Jan. 3 to host Ashland at 5:30 p.m. It's one of nine GLIAC home games NMU has in the second half of its schedule with seven contests on the road.