MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team needed a little extra time to settle its game with The University of Findlay Thursday at the Berry Events Center. NMU led at the half (28-27), but at the end of regulation it was all tied up at 71. UF outscored the ‘Cats in the overtime period 12-9 to take the game 83-80.
The loss drops NMU to 9-5 overall on the season and 6-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). UF improves to 12-2 and 7-2 respectively.
After the first minute or so into the game the ‘Cats received a three-pointer from Christa Erickson and two free throws from Elicia Derusha for an early 5-0 lead. The Oilers took their first lead of the game 8-7 a little more than six minutes gone in the game. NMU used a 7-0 run to take a 14-8 lead with under 11 minutes left in the half. The run was highlighted by a three-pointer from Kellie Rietveld. NMU held the lead and had a four-point cushion 18-14 at 8:20 after Angie Leckson sank both of her free throws. Steffani Stoeger ended the half by making three of her four free throws.
UF came out in the second half and scored the first nine points to take a 36-28 lead. UF increase its lead to 11 points at 14:38 (45-34) and again at 13:14 (47-36). Over a span of about three minutes the ‘Cats used a 9-1 run to tie the score at 48-all with 10:12 left in regulation. Rietveld sparked the run by draining a three-pointer. The Oilers took over the lead after the tie and had it up to five points with 7:42 left (56-51). NMU kept it close until 12 seconds left in regulation and down by three (71-68) when Erickson hit a three-pointer to send the game to overtime.
NMU took the early lead in overtime on a two made free throws from Rietveld (73-71). UF tied it up at 73-all before NMU took the lead over by a point (74-73) when Derusha sank one of her two free throws at 3:02. UF would hold the lead the rest of the way as NMU had it down to one point with 29 ticks left on the clock after a lay-up by Stoeger. That would be as close as the ‘Cats would get on the night.
Stoeger led NMU with 21 points. Thirteen of her points came from the free throw line as she made 17 trips. Three other ‘Cats were in double-figures as Rietveld added 18 points while Erickson and Mariah Dunham scored 14 and 12 respectively. Audra Mihalic led all scorers with 27 points. Erickson for the second game in a row had a double-double as she added 12 rebounds.
From the floor the ‘Cats were 23-56 (41.1 percent). From beyond the arc the ‘Cats shot 6-18 (33.3 percent). Erickson led the way with three three-pointers. From the charity stripe the ‘Cats were 28-34 (82.4 percent). NMU did outrebound the Oilers 41-32, but the squad committed 21 turnovers.
NMU will have an early wake-up for its next game. The ‘Cats face the Chargers of Hillsdale College Saturday (Jan. 16) at 11 a.m.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director