Men’s basketball losing skid hits seven


The NMU men’s (9-10 overall, 4-10 GLIAC) basketball team is looking for anything to get them out of a seven game losing streak.

Senior guard Tyler Kazmierkoski said since five of those seven games have been at home, it may be good for the ‘Cats to hit the road this weekend.

“Right now, I don’t think there is anything better than for us to go on the road. We love playing at home. We love playing in front of our fans, but I think what we need to do is just get away from it all,” he said. “We just need to be together as a team and see if we can get a few wins.”

The men’s team is coming off two close losses this past week. A six-point loss to Ferris State on Thursday, in which Kazmierkoski scored a team high 25 points, and an eight-point loss to Grand Valley on Saturday.

Head coach Dean Ellis said that against the Lakers (15-4, 10-4), the Wildcats came out slow and couldn’t find the basket early on, but in the second half they rebounded and tied the game in the first minute.

“We basically played them even in the second half,” Ellis said.

One of the factors in Saturday’s loss was that the Lakers went to the free throw line for 45 shots and were able to convert for 31 points. NMU had just seven points from the charity stripe in nine attempts.

Ellis said, despite the free throws, there were some things his team can take away from these games as the ‘Cats go on the road to face the Ashland Eagles on Thursday and the Tiffin Dragons on Saturday.

“I thought we played great all weekend,” Ellis said. “Our energy level was great. And it was unfortunate that we couldn’t get a win in either one of them.”

The ‘Cats are going to need to keep the energy level high against Ashland, because the Eagles bring a one-two punch in the form of senior guard Bret Wackerly and sophomore forward Kale Richardson.

Wackerly averages just under 20 points a game, while Richardson averages 15. The last time the Eagles squared off against the ‘Cats, on Jan. 10, the duo had 56 points in a 84-76 Ashland win.

Junior guard Austin Rowe, who had 10 points against Grand Valley, said the ‘Cats are ready for the Eagles this team around.

“They kind of caught us of guard last time and now we’re going to find them and make sure they don’t get easy shots, he said.

NMU is entering the latter part of its season, and is now readying to face the GLIAC teams for the second time.

Kazmierkoski said now it will be easier for the Wildcats, especially since they are playing more as a team.

“A lot of these guys were new playing together, and there are so many different styles of ball that you run into playing in the GLIAC,” he said. “I think we are more comfortable together, and I think the second time around is going to be a lot better.”

Kazmierkosi added that he personally is trying to play with more intensity and he hopes that it is contagious with his teammates so they can finally find a way to win.

“That’s what being a senior is all about. It is not the easiest thing. My body is starting to feel like a senior,” he said. “I think that the biggest thing is when we’re doing well it’s easy for everybody to play well, but when we’re down and slumping you have to keep trucking through and compete -as a senior I try to do that. And hope we can kind of get some other guys into it.”

Tipoff for Thursday’s game will be at 7:30 p.m. in Ashland, Ohio. Saturday’s game is at 3 p.m. against the Dragons in Tiffin, Ohio.