MIDLAND, Mich. – Down by as many as 14 points in the first half the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team rallied to defeat the Northwood Timberwolves Saturday afternoon. The ‘Cats ended the first half down by five points (32-27) and shot 56 percent from the floor in the second half (14-25) to take the game 68-57. NMU takes the season series with the Timberwolves as they won the first game in early December in Marquette (88-76).
NMU improves to 6-3 overall on the season and 4-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Northwood falls to 3-4 and 1-4 respectively.
The Timberwolves began the game with a 21-7 run over the first eight plus minutes. Over the next two minutes the ‘Cats used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 21-15 (9:18). The run was highlighted by a three-point play by Kellie Rietveld and a three-pointer by Hillary Bowling. Elicia Derusha canned a three-pointer of her own at 6:43 to get the ‘Cats within four (24-20). With 4:21 left in the first half Angie Leckson converted a lay-up for a 25-22 game. The Timberwolves built the lead back up to 10 points at 3:08 (32-22) before the ‘Cats used a 5-0 spurt to end the half. Leckson scored the final seven points of the half for the ‘Cats.
With four minutes gone in the second half, Rietveld made a three-pointer to tie the game at 38-all. After Rietveld tied the game again at 42-all with 13:53 left the Timberwolves scored a basketball before Christa Erickson gave the ‘Cats the lead 45-44 with 13:11 on the clock. Steffani Stoeger gave the ‘Cats its largest lead of the game to that point, 51-47, with less than 10 minutes left in regulation. Mariah Dunham’s three-point play at 4:57 gave the ‘Cats a 59-52 lead. After Rietveld’s three-pointer at 3:40 (62-55), Stoeger ended the game by scoring NMU’s final six points.
Rietveld led four ‘Cats with 10 or more points for the game. She ended the contest with a team-high 16 points. Erickson added 11 while Dunham and Stoeger had 10 points each. Stoeger also added a career-high seven assists and three steals. Jenna Anastos led the Timberwolves with a game-high 17 points. Dunham ended the game with 11 rebounds for her first double-double in her NMU career.
NMU was 25-53 for the game from the floor (47.2 percent). From the three-point line the ‘Cats were 9-23 (39.1 percent). Rietveld was 3-5 while Erickson was 3-7 in three-pointers. From the free throw line the ‘Cats were 9-17 (52.9 percent). Off the glass the ‘Cats had an 11 rebound advantage (38-27).
After taking some time off for Christmas the ‘Cats are back in action against Minnesota-Duluth (Dec. 29) at 5:30 p.m. at the Berry Events Center.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director