FINDLAY, Ohio – What a difference 20 minutes can make. During the first 20 minutes against The University of Findlay Oilers Saturday afternoon the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team shot 33.3 percent (10-30) from the floor and held the Oilers to 16.7 percent (5-30) and led the game (26-14). The second half saw the Wildcats shoot 8-30 from the floor (26.7 percent) as the Oilers shot 50 percent (14-28) and outscored the ‘Cats 41-18 to take the game 55-44.
The loss was the ‘Cats second in a row as they have dropped three of its past four games. Currently for the season NMU is 17-8 overall and 14-6 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The Oilers improve to 18-7 and 13-7 respectively.
Christa Erickson’s three-pointer at 16:06 of the first half gave NMU a four-point lead (9-5). Findlay then added a basket before Mariah Dunham connected for a three-pointer of her own about four minutes later for a 12-7 NMU lead. NMU held the Oilers without a score for about four minutes as the ‘Cats used a 7-0 run during that time for a 19-11 lead with a little over six minutes left in the half. Elicia Derusha accounted for four points during the run while Erickson had a triple. With the score 20-13 after a Steffani Stoeger’s made free throw with three plus minutes left in the half the ‘Cats used a 6-1 spurt to end the half. Angie Leckson recorded four of the points.
Dunham’s three-pointer was the ‘Cats first basket of the second half which gave the team a 29-18 lead (18:13). Over the next nine minutes the Oilers chipped away at the NMU lead and had it down to four points (40-36). Findlay tied the game at 40-all at 7:31 then the ‘Cats took the lead back on a lay-up by Leckson (42-40). After the Oilers tied the game up again at 42-all with a couple ticks under six minutes left in regulation the ‘Cats could only manage two more points the rest of the way. NMU’s only points came from a jumper made by Dunham with 2:14 on the clock.
Dunham led the ‘Cats off the bench with 14 points as she also had six rebounds. Derusha was the only other ‘Cat in double-figures as she ended the game with 11 points. Laura Bardall led the Oilers with 21 points. Leading the team off the glass were Derusha and Stoeger with seven rebounds each. Kellie Rietveld ended the game with five of NMU’s nine assists.
For the game the ‘Cats were 18-60 from the floor (30 percent). NMU was 5-19 from three-point line (26.3 percent) as Dunham and Erickson recorded two three-pointers each. The ‘Cats had four free throw attempts for the game and made three (75 percent). Findlay ended the game with three more rebounds (43-40).
NMU will wrap up the regular season with two games at home this coming week. The ‘Cats face Saginaw Valley State Thursday (Feb. 25) and Lake Superior State Saturday (Feb. 27).
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Sports Information Director