MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan women’s basketball team played an inspired second half against the No. 9 Grand Valley State Lakers but came up short, losing 65-59 from the Berry Events Center. NMU played only its second Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game and is now 5-4 on the season and 0-2 in the conference. Grand Valley moves to 9-0 and 4-0 in the GLIAC.
“Erin Powers played an inspired game. She’s gone through a lot emotionally in the last couple days but really stepped up tonight like she has all season.” NMU head coach Troy Mattson said.
Powers hit a three with five minutes to go in the second half to give the ‘Cats their first lead in the second half. NMU went on a 10-0 run with buckets from Kellie Rietveld, Steffani Stoeger, Powers and Hillary Bowling to regain the lead at 52-51.
Four free throws gave the Lakers the lead back at 52-55. Chelsea Lyons hit a driving layup to again cut the lead to one but Jasmine Padin made a huge three pointer to give the Lakers the four point lead with 2:15 to go.
“That three by Jasmine Padin was a dagger from really deep. I think that three gave them (Lakers) enough space to win the game.” Mattson said
NMU cut the led to one again on a Lyons three-point play but the Lakers made five free throws to close out the game.
“We played great on the defensive end in the second half and that gave us a chance to win.” Mattson said. “If we would have just made a few more baskets things would be different. I’m proud of our girls. We played a great team and we keep getting better with each game.”
The ‘Cats led early in the first half 8-3 and 16-14 but the Lakers shot 52 percent in the first half and were led in scoring by Alex Stelfox with 10 points to lead at the half 29-22.
Beckel led the ‘Cats in scoring with 18 points. Erin Powers had 10 points and six rebounds and Chelsea Lyons chipped in with 11. The ‘Cats shot 41 percent from the floor and only shot 3 -for-19 from the three point line.
Grand Valley was led in scoring by Alex Stelfox with 17 and Elizabeth Van Tiflin with 13. The Lakers shot 41 percent from the field and outrebounded the ‘Cats 36-34. The Lakers shot only two free throws in the first half but finished 14 -for- 18 from the line.
NMU plays the second game of its back-to-back when Ferris comes to town Sunday (Dec. 19). Game time is set for 3 p.m. Ferris lost to Michigan Tech 64-43 in Houghton on Saturday.
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