December 4, 2007

Cassi Rushford Gives Wildcats A Spark Off The Bench

Cassi Rushford
Cassi Rushford
MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team opened up the home portion of the 2007-08 schedule by facing UM-Duluth, Tuesday night at the Berry Events Center. NMU and UM-D met over the Thanksgiving break in Duluth as the Wildcats won that game (70-53). Tonight’s game was a little different story. NMU played well enough to win, 62-58. The Wildcats committed 22 turnovers for the game.
 
With the win the ‘Cats are 3-4 on the season while the Bulldogs fall to 1-5.
 
NMU raced out to a 7-0 lead after almost six minutes of play. Allison Carroll and Cassie Hegbloom converted layups before Cassi Rushford hit for a three-pointer to give the ‘Cats an opening run. At 11:14 of the half, Angie Leckson made a layup to give the ‘Cats a six-point edge at 13-7. The Bulldogs had the lead down to two points at 20-18 with about four minutes left in the half. Leckson gave the ‘Cats a five-point cushion with a three-pointer at 3:42 (23-18). NMU did go into the locker room with a one-point lead at the half (23-22). Both teams were a little cold from the floor in the first 20 minutes of play. NMU was 10-30 for 33.3 percent while UM-D was 9-28 for 32.1 percent.
 
The beginning of the second half saw the ‘Cats jump on a 9-0 run over a span of almost four minutes to take a 10-point lead (32-22). The run was highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers by Kelsey Deacon.   UM-D did chip away at the lead, but the ‘Cats always had an answer. The Bulldogs stay around as they had the lead down to one point on several occasions over a span of about two minutes from six minutes on left in the game. Deacon canned another three-pointer with less than three minutes left in the game to give the ‘Cats a four-point spread (59-55). With the ‘Cats clinging to a two-point lead with 1:14 left in the game, Rushford sank three of her four free throws down the stretch.
 
Deacon led all scorers with 18 points. She was 4-8 from beyond the arc and had a team-high seven rebounds. Rushford off the bench had 12 points and six rebounds. Leckson and Carroll ended the game with 10 points each. Katy Freeman was the lone Bulldog in double-figures as she had 11 points. 
 
NMU shot 44.0 percent from the floor for the game (22-50). Rushford was 3-4 in three-pointers as a team; NMU was 9-17 for 52.9 percent. The ‘Cats were 9-15 from the free throw line (60 percent). Rebounds were in favor of the ‘Cats at 37-34.
 
NMU will face Michigan Tech on Saturday (Dec. 8) at 1 p.m. in the home conference opener.
 
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Prepared By
David Faiella
Sports Information Director
906-227-1013