Lake Superior State begins the 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament as the No. 3-seed, set to host No. 6-seeded Ashland inside Bud Cooper Gymnasium on Tuesday, February 28th.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the Norris Center Information and Guest Services early in the week, at the Norris Center Ticket Office beginning two hours before the game or online at http://lssutickets.universitytickets.com. Tickets cost $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children (17-under) and $2.00 for LSSU students.
A live radio broadcast of the action will be available online and on ESPN Radio 1400 AM in Sault Ste. Marie. A live video stream will also be available purchase.
The Lakers (16-9, 13-8 GLIAC) secured the third seed in the eight-team tournament with an 83-81 victory at Northwood last Thursday evening, breaking a tie with Wayne State and Michigan Tech as the only GLIAC North Division team with a win over GLIAC Regular Season Champions Ferris State. A 78-67 victory at home over Tiffin on Thursday secured a sixth-place finish for the Eagles (17-9, 12-8 GLIAC), the second-of-three GLIAC South Division teams to make the field.
Tuesday’s game marks the fifth consecutive trip to the GLIAC Tournament and the team’s fourth year in a row hosting a first round matchup inside Cooper Gymnasium. During the past five seasons, the Lakers won consecutive GLIAC Championships in 2013-14 and 2014-15, reached the GLIAC Tournament Championship game in 2013 and 2015, but seek their first GLIAC Tournament Championship since 1996.
Laker Notes – Entering the Week
- Entering the week, LSSU continues to boast the second-highest scoring average in the GLIAC at 86.4 points per game.
- The Lakers rank fifth in overall field goal percentage at 48.3 percent on the season and feature the third-highest three-point field goal percentage at 39.1 percent clip this season.
- Defensively, the Lakers rank 11th in points per game allowed (78.3 ppg) overall but are tied with Findlay for 7.9 steals per game to lead the league.
- The LSSU defense ranks fifth in opponents’ field goal percentage (43.7 percent) and seventh in opponents’ three-point field goal percentage (34.4 percent).
- Junior guard Akaemji Williams continues to lead the way for the Lakers this season, ranking third among GLIAC players in overall scoring at 21.4 points per game.
- Williams leads the GLIAC and ranks fifth among NCAA Division II members in assists per game (7.8), while also pacing the league in steals per game (3.1) to rank third nationally.
- Second on the team in scoring, junior center Michael Nicholson has averaged 11.7 points per game and leads the team with 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots per contest.
- Nicholson is ranked 10th in the GLIAC for rebounds per contest and ranks third in blocks per game.
- Nicholson’s mark of 62.7 percent shooting from the field ranks fourth among GLIAC players.
- Sophomore Carson Manger rounds out the LSSU starters averaging double digits with 11.4 points per game.
- Manger is third on the team in three-point field goal percentage at 42.5 percent and is second on the team with 45 made three-point field goals.
- Among players with at least one made three-point field goal per game this season, senior Jordan Dasuqi leads the Lakers with a 44.8 percent mark to rank eighth among GLIAC players that qualify.
- Manger ranks 13th in the GLIAC and Blake Marquardt ranks 15th with a 42.0 percent clip.
- Dasuqi has started each of the last five games after previously making 13 previous appearances off the bench. The Clarkston, Mich., native opened the season with six consecutive starts.
- Marquardt leads the Lakers and ranks tied for 16th in total three-point field goals in the GLIAC with 55 three-pointers made.
Inside the Matchup
Ashland- Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.
LSSU and Ashland have a rich history of tightly-contested games. The teams split their last two meetings, both played in Sault Ste. Marie, and LSSU missed a go-ahead three-pointer at the buzzer during its last trip to Ashland in January, 2015.
When the teams met in early December to open the conference schedule, the Lakers were scoring 92.5 points per game and allowing 89 points per game. The Lakers responded to the loss against the Eagles with a five-game winning streak to close out the first half of the season. During their last 10 games, they have allowed only 74.1 ppg, while producing a 6-4 mark.
In the previous meeting between the teams, Williams led all scorers with 30 points and totaled a game-high eight assists. Manger finished with 16 points and Nicholson scored 15 points, collected seven rebounds and blocked three shots.
A Look Ahead
The top remaining team following Tuesday night’s quarterfinals matchups will play host to the 2017 GLIAC Tournament Semifinals and Final on March 4-5. Top-seeded Ferris State hosts the eighth seed Hillsdale, while No. 2 seeded Findlay welcomes Grand Valley State. Rounding out the field, Michigan Tech battles Wayne State in a battle of fourth and fifth seeds.
Source: LSSU Athletics