HOUGHTON, Mich. - The Northern Michigan Women’s basketball team (22-9) won a true nail biter with a 52-51 victory over the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds (26-4) Friday afternoon in quarterfinal action at 2010 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Midwest Region . This was the first time NMU has won a NCAA Division II women’s tournament game since defeating Michigan Tech (76-63) in the 2001 region. It was also head coach Troy Mattson’s first NCAA tournament win.
After a strong start, the Wildcats led at halftime 29-27. Despite the score being so close, the Greyhounds had the lead for less than two minutes of the contest. Christa Erickson led the Wildcat winners with 16 points, 12 of them from behind the three-point line. Hillary Bowling and Mariah Dunham were the other two double-digit scorers with 11 and 12 points respectively. Kellie Rietveld and Elicia Derusha each had seven rebounds to pace the ‘Cats.
Steffani Stoeger scored just one point, but it was the most important. Stoeger shot the winning point on a free throw after being fouled by UIndy’s Katie Dewey with 24 seconds left in regulation. The Greyhounds then missed two shots to end its season.
The Wildcat defense was the story of the game, as they held the Hounds to its lowest score of the season. Indianapolis averaged 77.5 points per game this season, as well as a +21.1 scoring margin. NMU had five blocks and nine steals as a team and forced the Greyhounds to only 35.5 percent from the field (22-62). NMU was 18-49 from the floor for the game (36.7 percent). From beyond the arc the ‘Cats were 8-20 (40 percent) with seven of the triples coming from Erickson with four and Bowling with three. NMU was 8-10 from the free throw line (80 percent). The ‘Cats outrebounded UIndy by a 38-35 count. Ten of NMU’s rebounds were off the offensive glass.
The next opponent for the ‘Cats are the Drury Panthers who came off a commanding win against Southern Indiana,71-48, in the first round, as well as the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament championship. The game is set for Sunday (March 14) at 1:30 p.m. at the SDC Gymnasium on the Michigan Tech campus.
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Story by Brice Burge
Sports Information Director