MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team came out of the gate quick and strong Thursday night against Northwood. NMU used a 9-3 run the first three plus minutes of the game for a 39-24 halftime lead en route to an 88-76 win over the visiting Timberwolves.
NMU improves to 3-2 overall on the season and 1-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Northwood falls to 2-1 and 0-1 respectively.
The first half saw the ‘Cats control the tempo of the game. Angie Leckson gave NMU a 13-7 lead at 13-17 when she made one of her two free throws. In the blink of an eye the ‘Cats went from a 14-9 score at 13:29 to a 22-9 score at 11:08 after Mariah Dunham connected for a three-pointer. Steffani Stoeger gave the ‘Cats a 16-point cushion at 29-13 with 8:49 showing on the clock. A little more than a minute later, Stoeger connected again from downtown for a 33-15 game. Northwood cut the lead to 11 points before Kellie Rietveld made a jumper to give the ‘Cats a 35-22 lead with 5:25 left before the half. Elicia Derusha closed out the half by making two free throws for NMU.
The second half saw the Timberwolves made it a four-point game at 14:40. When Derusha made her three-pointer at 12:05 the ‘Cats had the lead back up to nine points (55-46). Shannon Helminen’s three-point play at 9:17 gave the ‘Cats a double-digit cushion at 65-52. Northwood would try to answer once again. The Timberwolves chipped away at the NMU lead and had it down to seven points with 6:50 left in the game (67-60). NMU answered with a 6-1 run which was capped off by Stoeger’s three-pointer (73-61). The game was sealed when Stoeger made both of her free throws with a little more than a minute left in the game (82-71).
Stoeger had career-high 28 points to lead all scorers. She was 8-16 from the floor which included 5-11 from three-point land. Derusha ended the game with 17 points while Dunham added 15. Pam Wilson led the Timberwolves with 23 points. Stoeger and Derusha each had eight rebounds to pace the ‘Cats.
NMU was 28-58 from the floor for the game (48.3 percent). That included 9-26 from beyond the arc (34.6 percent). From the charity stripe the ‘Cats were 23-29 (79.3 percent). The ‘Cats had the advantage on the boards with a 39-35 count.
NMU will be back in action Saturday morning (Dec. 5) at the Berry Events Center with an 11 a.m. game against Wayne State.
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Sports Information Director