MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team had the top ranked team in NCAA Division II women’s basketball on the ropes Saturday night at the Berry Events Center. NMU was leading the Michigan Tech Huskies 29-22 at the half and held the lead until the late stages of the game, but fell to the Huskies 64-59 for its first conference loss of the season.
The Wildcats fall to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action. MTU stays perfect with a 7-0 and 3-0 slate respectively.
Hillary Bowling gave the ‘Cats an eight-point lead (21-13) after she sank both of her free throws at 6:31 of the first half. NMU expanded the lead to nine on a Steffani Stoeger three-pointer at 3:51 for a 24-15 lead. MTU had the lead down to seven points, but the ‘Cats answered right before half with a lay-up by Bowling at 1:21 for a 29-20 game. MTU made a lay-up for the final score of the first half.
NMU began the second half with a lay-up by Elicia Derusha (31-22). MTU had the NMU lead down to three points about three minutes into the half (31-28). The ‘Cats answered with an 8-0 run on a jumper by Mariah Dunham, and three-pointers by Kellie Rietveld and Stoeger (39-28). With NMU leading by a score of 43-33 with 14:48 left in the game the Huskies used a 10-0 run to tie the game at 43-all with 10:09 left on the clock.
NMU kept the game close and held a seven-point lead at 56-49 with 5:01 showing on the clock after a three-pointer by Christa Erickson. MTU took over the lead for good with a little more than two minutes left in the game (58-56). The Huskies ended the game with a 6-3 run.
Dunham was the lone ‘Cat in double-figures as she ended the game with 22 points. Rietveld led the ‘Cats on the boards with six rebounds. Stoeger added six assists and two steals. Katie Wysocky led the Huskies with a double-double of 28 points (game high) and 13 rebounds.
NMU was 22-57 from the floor for the game (38.6 percent). That included 7-19 from beyond the arc (36.8 percent). Stoeger and Rietveld led the ‘Cats with two each from the three-point line. NMU was 8-10 from the free throw line (80 percent). MT outrebounded NMU by 10 (39-29).
NMU hits the road this upcoming week with two GLIAC games at Wayne State (Dec. 17) and Northwood (Dec. 19).
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Sports Information Director