DULUTH, Minn. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team (1-0) opened up its 2008-09 season in fine fashion Saturday afternoon at Minnesota-Duluth (0-1). Down by three points at the half the ‘Cats shot 40 percent from the floor in the second 20 minutes of play and held the Bulldogs to 37 percent to pull out the 63-60 win. It was the opening game for both squads.
Steffani Stoeger hit a three-pointer minutes into the second half to tie the score at 36-all. The Wildcats either had the lead or the game was tied for the next 15 plus minutes. NMU’s largest lead of the second half was eight points which the ‘Cats had twice. With 13:29 left in the half Brynn Larsen converted a lay-up for the 48-40 lead. The next time the ‘Cats had an eight-point edge was when Kelsey Deacon canned a three-pointer with 7:48 showing on the clock.
With a little under four minutes left in the game the Bulldogs did pull ahead by one at 57-56. UMD converted a three-point play at 1:54 for the 60-57 lead. The ‘Cats answered with back-to-back baskets by Deacon to tie the game at 60. Cassie Hegbloom gave the ‘Cats the lead for good with 39 ticks left on the clock when she made a lay-up. With 10 seconds left in the game Larsen made one of her two free throws to seal the win.
Deacon led all scorers with 28 points. She was 10-14 from the floor which included 4-5 from the three-point line. Stoeger was also in double-figures with 10 points. Deacon and Jaclyn Davey each had four rebounds to pace the ‘Cats. Jheri Booker led the Bulldogs with 24 points.
For the game NMU was 21-53 from the floor for 39.6 percent. The ‘Cats shot 36.4 percent from the three-point line on 8-22 shooting. From the charity stripe the ‘Cats were 13-18 (72.2 percent). UMD did win the battle off the glass with 38 rebounds to 30 for NMU.
The ‘Cats have its home opener against Marygrove next Saturday (Nov. 22) at 11 a.m.
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Sports Information Director