MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team scored its biggest victory in the Troy Mattson era Saturday against Grand Valley State University. The Lakers ranked 20th in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll fell victim to a three-point barrage from the Wildcats. NMU set a new school record for three-pointers made and attempted. The ‘Cats were 18-38 from beyond the arc for 47.4 percent. In the end NMU won the game 81-68.
The win improves NMU to 11-8 overall and 6-8 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). GVSU falls to 15-4 and 11-3 respectively.
GVSU took a seven-point lead 15-8 at 12:11. Kelsey Deacon nailed a three-pointer at 10:29 to cut the Lakers lead to 19-14. About a minute later Cassi Rushford came off the bench for another three-pointer for a 19-17 game. Baskets by Deacon and Steffani Stoeger gave NMU a 22-21 lead at 7:33. Deacon hit another three-pointer at 7:07 for a four-point NMU lead (25-21). The Lakers took a brief lead before Holly Cole drained a three-pointer for a two-point NMU lead (28-26) at 5:48. GVSU took another lead before Christa Erickson hit a jumper right before the half for a 35-33 lead going into the locker room.
About five minutes into the second have the ‘Cats had a five-point lead (48-43) thanks to a three-pointer by Cole. Cole then drained another three-pointer for an eight-point lead (51-43) at 12:45. Stoeger got in on the act with her own three-pointer at 12:18 for NMU’s largest lead at the time (54-43). The Lakers had the NMU lead down to two points (54-42) with a little over 10 minutes left in the game. An 8-0 run in a span of about two minutes gave the ‘Cats a 62-52 cushion. With 7:42 left in the game Erickson gave NMU a 12-point lead (68-56) with yet another three-pointer. GVSU tried to keep the game close, but the ‘Cats held them at bay. Deacon connected on both free throws with less than two minutes left in the game for a 78-65 lead. She made five of six free throws down the stretch to seal the win for the ‘Cats.
Deacon led all scorers with 26 points. She also had seven assists, four rebounds and two steals. Erickson off the bench had career numbers in points with 20, field goals attempted (7) and three-pointers attempted and made (6-9). Stoeger had 10 points for the ‘Cats. Erin Powers ended the game with a team-high seven rebounds. Kara Crawford led the Lakers with 14 points.
NMU was 27-57 from the floor (47.4 percent) for the game. Deacon also had a big game from three-point land by going 5-9. The ‘Cats were 9-11 from the free throw line (81.8 percent). NMU won the rebounding tussle by a 32-28 count.
The ‘Cats are on the road for its next four games. First up this coming week are games at Ashland (Feb. 5) and Tiffin (Feb. 7).
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director