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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

’Cats look for fast break out of streak

Closing out games is something the NMU men’s basketball team has worked on improving all year. The ’Cats are still looking to improve their second half efforts after losing two games at home last weekend.

On Saturday, the Wildcats (4-10 GLIAC, 8-13 overall) held a 37-31 halftime lead over the Findlay Oilers but were outscored by 15 in the second half and lost, 85-76. Head coach Doug Lewis said the defense has to be tougher late in the game.

“I thought we played hard, but we played like a team that hasn’t been winning down the stretch,” Lewis said. “We lost a little confidence and when a team shoots 68 percent in the second half, you can’t win the ball game.”

Early foul trouble limited the play of some key starters. Senior center Jared Benson, freshman guard Haki Stampley and senior forward DeAndre Taylor all picked up three fouls early in the second half.

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The Oilers were able to take advantage and score a lot of points down low.

“Were talking about 26 points in the paint; that’s the trenches, it’s like a war,” Lewis said. “You can bomb them from the top, but if you want to win the war, you got to win in the trenches, that’s why you send in the Marines and right now were not sending in the Marines.”

NMU did get a lift on the offensive side from freshman point guard Quinten Calloway who scored a career-high 23 points, connecting on five 3-pointers. Lewis said he is encouraged by the play of his young backcourt.

“He played really well and I want him to be aggressive because I don’t know what were going to get inside night-in and night out,” Lewis said.

Taylor also netted 15 points and grabbed eight boards for NMU. Benson chipped in another 12 points and sophomore forward Matt Craggs added 11 points to round out the double figure scorers. Calloway said the team is working on putting it all together.

“I think were a team that doesn’t know how to win yet. We’re kind of young and were still trying to learn how to win,” Calloway said. “We just have to get stops, we can’t let them score. That’s what it’s all about right now.”

On Thursday, the short-handed ’Cats dropped a 72-55 contest against the Wayne State University Warriors. Northern and Wayne State exchanged leads early, but the Warriors got up by double digits at the half and never looked back.

“We got beat by a really good team,” Lewis said. “They’re a team that really gets after it defensively and that’s going to be a test for our team because where not the toughest team and they came out and out toughed us tonight.”

The ’Cats leading scorer Stampley was out of the lineup due to a violation of team rules. Lewis said his absence was felt, but wasn’t the difference in the loss.

“The way we’re going to build this program is principles, working hard, doing the right things and that’s something he has to learn as a freshman,” Lewis said. “It hurt us, but where we lost tonight it wouldn’t have matter if he played tonight or not.”

Taylor led the ’Cats with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Calloway chipped in 12 points and junior forward TJ Cameron added another 11 points to round out the scoring.

NMU is at home this week at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, looking to snap a five-game losing streak as they host the Lake Superior State University Lakers (5-9 GLIAC, 10-11 overall). Northern beat the Lakers, 63-55, in Sault Ste. Marie earlier this season.

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