MARQUETTE - The Northern Michigan University men's and women's basketball teams host Michigan Tech tonight at the Berry Events Center in Marquette with the women tipping off at 5:30 p.m. and the men following at 7:30 p.m.
For the Wildcats' men squad, its the finale of head coach Bill Sall's first year in what could be a lengthy rebuilding process. The 'Cats are 5-20 overall and 4-17 in the GLIAC in Sall's first season since leaving Ferris State for NMU.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats women's team has secured a top-four regular-season finish in the GLIAC at 18-7 overall and 15-6 in the GLIAC. It will host an opponent yet to be determined at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the BEC.
Northern Michigan University junior Alyssa Colla makes a shot against Ohio Dominican on Jan. 4 at the Berry Events Center in?Marquette. (Journal file photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
A win tonight - the final night of the regular season in the GLIAC - for the women over the rival Huskies, combined with a loss by Wayne State (19-6 overall, 16-5 in GLIAC) at home to last-place Lake Superior State (5-22, 5-16), would give the 'Cats a share of the GLIAC North Division title. It would also create a four-way tie for the GLIAC's No. 1 seed, leaving the league to run through a number of tiebreakers to decode the deadlock.
The highest remaining seed after the first round of the GLIAC quarterfinals hosts the league tournament March 8-9.
The Huskies (18-7, 16-5), who are also guaranteed to finish in the top four, only need a win to clinch a share of the GLIAC North title while a loss by WSU would give Tech the title outright, plus the top seed in the league tournament.
Ashland (17-8, 15-6) needs a win tonight at home against Lake Erie (10-17, 5-16) to clinch the South Division title and have a shot at the No. 1 seed. The Eagles lead Malone (19-8, 14-7) by a game in the South with Pioneers hosting Walsh (10-16, 6-14) tonight.
The NMU women are riding a six-game winning streak heading into the final night of the regular season with junior guard Alyssa Colla ranking fourth in the GLIAC in scoring, averaging 16.4 points per game.
The last time NMU and Tech met was the last time the Wildcats lost on Feb. 3 of this year in Houghton, with the Huskies prevailing 71-65 despite 22 points from Colla.
In between the men's and women's games tonight, NMU will honor the senior members of both the men's and women's basketball teams in the annual Senior Night celebration.