MIDLAND, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball squad was looking to snap its four-game skid at Northwood on Thursday night. NMU was down by eight at the half and came back to tie the game in regulation before dropping a 77-73 decision in overtime.
The Wildcats have now lost five in a row and are currently 6-14 overall on the season, 2-9 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play. NU improves to 9-9 and 3-7 respectively.
The Timberwolves jumped out to a 5-0 lead to begin the game. Cassi Rushford made a lay-up off of an offensive rebound to tie the game at five at 15:53 of the half. Rushford would tie the game, at 16-all, off of a three-point play at 10:33. Over the next four minutes the Timberwolves would lead by as many as seven points before the ‘Cats cut into the lead. With 4:44 left in the half, Allison Carroll made the score 28-25. NU ended the half with a 7-2 spurt (35-37).
For the first four plus minutes of the season half it was all Timberwolves. Cassie Hegbloom connected on a jumper to get the ‘Cats within two at 39-37 at 15:44. A little over a minute later, Hegbloom tied the game at 39 (14:24). Rushford gave the ‘Cats a two-point lead at 43-41 at 13:09 with her three-pointer. NMU would hold the lead for the majority of the time for over the next 12 minutes. The game was tied three times in that span. The ‘Cats held an eight-point lead at 7:09 (57-49).
NMU held a one-point lead with 46 seconds left in regulation. The Timberwolves connected for four straight free throws to take a 65-63 lead with 18 ticks left on the clock. Kelsey Deacon tied the game for the sixth time in the half with a jumper with about 10 seconds left in regulation. The Timberwolves could not connect on a lay-up at the buzzer.
Deacon gave the ‘Cats the early edge at 67-66 in the extra session by sinking both of her free throws. LaShawn Lambert made a lay-up and a jumper to give the ‘Cats the 71-70 lead with 2:05 left. NU would tie the game at 71, before ending the game with a 6-2 run for the win.
Deacon led all scorers with 20 points. She was one of three ‘Cats in double-figures. Lambert and Rushford each ended the game with a career-high 17 points. Megan Starnes led the Timberwolves with 16 points. Carroll for the second game in a row had double-figures in the rebounding category as she ended the game with 10.
The ‘Cats shot over 48 percent from the floor on 32-66 (48.5 percent). Rushford had both of NMU’s three-pointers in six attempts (33.3 percent). The ‘Cats only made 10 trips to the free throw line and made seven of its throws (70 percent). NU made 36 trips to the charity stripe and converted 30 of the throws. NMU held a three rebound advantage over the Timberwolves (40-37).
The ‘Cats will be at Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 27).
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Sports Information Director