By Rob Everingham
The Skylights return home on Saturday night as they take on Western Montana College at the Northern gym.
Northern defeated the Bulldogs 77-72 in the Frontier Conference Tip-Off tournament earlier this year.
Both teams have improved a lot since that game, said Northern head coach Ray Peters.
"They are a very good offensive team," Peters said of Western.
Peters also said Western's defense has improved throughout the season.
In the first meeting, Peters said, his team did a good job offensively and an average job on defense. Peters said they were fortunate that Western missed some shots, but he knows they are playing stronger and with more confidence.
The Skylights are coming off a come from behind win over Carroll College. Peters said they are playing strong and playing intelligent basketball at this point in the season.
Northern is giving themselves chances to win, Peters said, and that is a key.
Another key to the success of the Skylights will be defense.
"Our defense will have to be good for us to be successful," Peters said.
The Skylights have started to pick up some inside scoring and that is taking some pressure off Jana Smith, who is a big scoring threat for Northern.
Also, other Northern players have been stepping it up and hitting key shots, giving the Skylights a more balanced attack.
Peters said this is the time in the season when they should be hitting their groove and playing good basketball.
"We are just going to try to go in and be successful against a very good Western Montana team, Peters said."