MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team played the Minnesota-Duluth squad for the second time this season Tuesday at the Berry Events Center. In its first meeting in the middle of November the Wildcats walked away with a 63-60 win. Today it was a different story as the ‘Cats led for the entire game en route to a 93-76 non-conference win over the Bulldogs.
NMU improves to 6-4 overall on the season while UMD falls to 5-6.
Natalie Larocque knocked down the first two three-pointers of the game to give the ‘Cats a 6-2 lead minutes into the game. With NMU leading 10-7 the ‘Cats used an 11-0 run over a span of four minutes to take a 21-7 lead with 12:15 left in the half. UMD had the ‘Cats lead down to nine points before Holly Cole hit a three-pointer at 9:11 for a 26-14 advantage. Kelsey Deacon connected from downtown with 4:14 showing on the clock for a 19-point cushion (40-21). Larocque ended the half with the way she began it with a three-pointer (45-30). NMU went into the locker room with a 45-32 lead after 20 minutes of play.
A little over four minutes into the second half the Bulldogs had the NMU lead down to nine points (51-42). NMU answered with a 7-0 run as Larocque and Deacon made lay-ups before Cassie Rushford sank a three-pointer. With NMU up 70-61 with a little over eight minutes left in the game the ‘Cats used an 11-3 run over a two minute span to seal the win (81-64). Four of the points in the run came from Deacon’s made free throws. With less than two minutes left in the game, Brynn Larsen gave NMU a 21-point lead (89-68).
Larocque ended the game with a career-high 24 points. She was 9-14 from the floor which included 4-7 from the arc and 2-2 from the free throw line. Deacon had 15 points while Christa Erickson off the bench had 11. Angie Leckson had six rebounds. Kellie Rietveld had a career-high nine assists to go along with her six rebounds. Kelsey Hewitt led the Bulldogs with 17 points.
From the floor NMU was 31-59 for the game (52.5 percent). The ‘Cats were 9-25 from the three-point line (36 percent). NMU made 29 trips to the free throw line and made 22 of the free throws (75.9 percent). The home team had the edge off the glass at 40-29.
The ‘Cats are back in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play Saturday (Jan. 3) against Michigan Tech. Action gets under way at 1 p.m.
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Sports Information Director