SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team might have struggled from the floor, but in the end the Wildcats took an 11-point halftime lead (31-20) against the Lake Superior State Lakers Thursday and used it to take the game by a score of 64-56. For the game the ‘Cats were 20-55 from the floor (36.4 percent) while the Lakers were 22-57 (38.6 percent).
With the win the ‘Cats improve to 11-5 overall and 8-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The Lakers fall to 9-6 and 6-5 respectively.
The first half began with the Lakers holding the lead until Elicia Derusha hit a jumper at 15:41 for an 8-7 lead then Erin Powers added a jumper of her own for a 10-7 edge about a minute later. NMU would extend its lead to eight points at 11:38 on a jumper by Hillary Bowling (17-9). About five minutes later the ‘Cats had the lead to nine points (27-18) on a three-pointer by Christa Erickson. NMU ended the half with a 6-0 run as Kellie Rietveld ended the first 20 minutes with a jumper (31-20).
About four minutes into the second half the ‘Cats had the lead to 14 points on another three-pointer from Erickson (38-34). Lake State cut into the lead before Steffani Stoeger hit from beyond the three-point line for a 43-30 score with 12:52 showing on the clock. Angie Leckson gave NMU a 15-point cushion (47-32) with 10:22 left in the game after she made both of her free throws. The Lakers had the NMU lead down to single digits with a little over two minutes left in the game, but that changed when Powers sank both of her free throws (54-44). NMU ended the final two minutes or so by going to the free throw line 12 times and making 10 of the throws.
NMU went 6-19 (31.6 percent) from the three-point line. Stoeger led the ‘Cats by sinking three three-pointers. The ‘Cats were 18-21 (85.7 percent) from the free throw line. Leckson was perfect from the charity stripe as she went 4-4. NMU had a 10-rebound advantage over the Lakers (41-31).
Stoeger led all scorers with 16 points. She also added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Erickson was the other ‘Cat in double-figures as she ended the game with 12 points. Powers led the ‘Cats with 10 rebounds. Leading the Lakers in the scoring column was Casey Schemberger with 16 points.
NMU stays on the road with a game at Saginaw Valley State Saturday (Jan. 23).
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Sports Information Director