MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball squad received keys baskets from Steffani Stoeger and Kellie Rietveld down the stretch to take the game over the Chargers of Hillsdale College Saturday afternoon at the Berry Events Center.
The win brings the Wildcats record to 10-5 overall and 7-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Hillsdale falls to 6-8 and 6-4 respectively.
The first 10 minutes or so of the first half was pretty even, but the ‘Cats took a seven-point lead (23-16) on an Elicia Derusha with 10:15 left in the half. Less than a minute later after a Hillsdale basket Erin Power scored on a lay-up for a 25-18 game. The Chargers took over the lead with about eight minutes left in the half. NMU would regain the lead at 4:47 on a lay-up by Stoeger (31-30). She hit for a three-pointer at 1:26 which capped a 12-6 run for the ‘Cats (43-36). Derusha sank both of her free throws with seconds left in the half to give NMU the lead after 20 minutes of play (45-38).
Derusha began the second half with back-to-back baskets for a 49-38 lead. Hillsdale had the NMU down to four points with 14:54 left in the game, but the ‘Cats answered with free throws from Erin Powers and Rietveld (55-47). Derusha with her basket at 11:18 gave the ‘Cats a seven-point cushion (57-50). Over the next five minutes the Chargers chipped away at the NMU lead and took a lead (65-64) with 5:34 left in the game. NMU used a 6-0 run to take over the lead once again70-65 (3:41) on baskets by Powers, Holly Cole and Stoeger. With the score tied 73-all Rietveld hit a jumper with 43 ticks left on the clock to give NMU the lead for good (75-73).
Stoeger led all scorers with 21 points as she was 8-10 from the floor. Rietveld added 16 points and four assists in the win. Powers off the bench recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Derusha was the fourth ‘Cat in double-figures with 10 points. Chelsea Harrison led the Chargers with 18 points.
NMU was 28-48 from the floor for the game (58.3 percent). The ‘Cats from beyond the arc were 8-17 (47.1 percent). Stoeger was 5-6 in three-pointers. From the free throw line the ‘Cats were 13-15 (86.7 percent). Rebounds were in favor of NMU 38-29.
The ‘Cats are on the road for its next four games. Next week the squad is at Lake Superior State (Jan. 21) and Saginaw Valley State (Jan. 23).
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Sports Information Director