ALLENDALE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team used a strong second half to defeat the Grand Valley State Lakers Saturday afternoon. Down by two points at halftime (24-22) the Wildcats outscored the Lakers by 14 points in the second half (44-30) to take the game 66-54. The win was the ‘Cats fifth in a row.
NMU improves to 14-5 overall on the season and 11-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Grand Valley State falls to 14-5 and 11-3 respectively. The ‘Cats and Lakers and currently tied for second place in the GLIAC North Division.
Erin Powers gave NMU its first lead of the game (5-4) on a lay-up at 17:27 of the opening period. The Lakers would hold the lead until Christa Erickson made all three of her free throw attempts to tie the game at 10-all with 12:41 on the clock. NMU took over the lead briefly 12-10 on an Angie Leckson lay-up at 11:59. Grand Valley State tied the game at 12-all (11:04) then had a four-point lead 16-12 about two minutes later. Erickson’s three-pointer at 6:16 tied the game at 18-all. With less than five minutes left before halftime the ‘Cats received a free throw from Leckson and a three-pointer from Erickson for a 22-18 lead. Grand Valley State ended the half with a 6-0 run.
The second half saw the ‘Cats tie the game twice within the first two plus minutes of the half on a jumper by Leckson and a three-pointer by Elicia Derusha (28-all). Steffani Stoeger’s lay-up at 14:14 tied the game at 32-all then the ‘Cats used a 7-0 run over the next two minutes to take a 39-32 lead. During the run Stoeger gave NMU a lay-up and a three-pointer. Kellie Rietveld hit back-to-back baskets for the ‘Cats to give the team a 10-point lead 48-38 with about eight minutes left in regulation. The Lakers had the NMU lead down to five points (49-44) with about six minutes left on the clock, the ‘Cats then recorded a lay-up by Derusha and a jumper from Mariah Dunham for a 53-44 lead. Stoeger’s three-pointer at 2:35 gave NMU another double-digit lead (59-47). NMU ended the game by going to the free throw line for 12 attempts. The ‘Cats made seven of the throws down the stretch.
Erickson led all scorers with 20 points. Stoeger ended the game with 17 points as 15 came in the second half. Derusha led the ‘Cats off the glass with seven rebounds while teammate Dunham added six. Rietveld recorded a game-high six assists. Alex Stelfox led the Lakers with 12 points.
NMU for the game was 21-50 from the floor (42 percent). The ‘Cats were 9-22 from beyond the arc (40.9 percent). Erickson was 5-8 in three-pointers to lead the team. From the charity stripe the ‘Cats were 15-25 (60 percent). NMU had a slight edge in rebounds at 35-32.
The ‘Cats will begin a four-game home stand this coming week with games against Ashland (Feb. 4) and Tiffin (Feb. 6).
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Sports Information Director