HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team found some scoring from a senior whose games in a Wildcat uniform was numbered. Angie Leckson gave the ‘Cats a spark as she scored 11 points in the 71-64 win over Findlay in the second semifinal game of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament. Findlay had beaten NMU twice during the regular season.
The win sets up a championship game against the Michigan Tech Huskies, Saturday night (March 6) at 7 p.m. at the SDC Gymnasium on the Michigan Tech campus. Michigan Tech defeated Lake Superior State, 72-43, in the first semifinal game of the day. The ‘Cats defeated the Huskies on its home court in early January by a score of 53-47.
NMU improves to 21-8 overall on the season while Findlay drops to 21-8.
The last time NMU won a GLIAC Tournament title was during the 1999-00 season as the ‘Cats defeated Ferris State in the championship game (93-80).
Christa Erickson got the ‘Cats rolling with a three-pointer for the first made shot of the game and then lay-ups by Steffani Stoeger and Mariah Dunham as NMU was leading 7-0 almost four minutes into the game. After the Oilers had cut into the lead and were down by two (11-9) the ‘Cats answered with a three-pointer and a three-point play from Dunham for a 17-9 NMU advantage. At the halfway point of the first half Findlay tied the game at 19-all before Stoeger stroked a three-pointer for a 22-19 game. With the ‘Cats leading by one (22-21) with 8:33 on the clock Leckson stepped up and went inside for a lay-up and then popped outside for a three-pointer for a 27-21 NMU lead. Leckson after making both of her free throws with 5:20 left in the half had the ‘Cats up by eight (31-23).
The final two plus minutes of the half the Oilers tied the score twice before Dunham made one of her two free throws for a 36-35 score. Findlay took a brief lead (37-36) with a little over a minute left in the half then the ‘Cats answered when Kellie Rietveld made both of her free throws to give NMU the halftime lead (38-37).
The second half began with back-to-back layups by Leckson and Stoeger for a 42-37 NMU lead. Findlay tied the game at 42-all about five minutes into the half. NMU used a back-to-back three-pointers from Hillary Bowling to take a 48-42 lead with a little under 14 minutes left in the game. Stoeger added a lay-up for a 50-42 score. Findlay had the score down to 56-53 before Dunham added two lay-ups for a 60-53 NMU lead with 7:52 on the clock.
The ‘Cats held the Oilers in check and used jumpers from Dunham and Rietveld before Stoeger added a lay-up at 1:32 for a 10-point NMU lead (71-61). The Oilers ended the game with three made free throws, but it was not enough as the ‘Cats moved on.
Dunham led all scorers with 27 points as she also added a game-high seven rebounds. Stoeger added 18 points for the ‘Cats in the win. Laura Bardall led the Oilers with 18 points.
NMU was 28-59 (47.5 percent) from the floor for the 40 minutes of play. From beyond the arc the ‘Cats were 7-21 (33.3 percent) as Stoeger and Bowling made two each. The ‘Cats were almost perfect from the free throw line as the team made 8-9 (88.9 percent). Rebounds were in favor of NMU at 33-31.
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Sports Information Director