ASHLAND, Ohio. – The Northern Michigan women’s basketball team was unable to overcome a slow first half start, falling to the streaking No. 5 Ashland University Eagles 85-55, today (Feb. 18).
With the loss, NMU falls to 11-13 on the season and 7-10 in the GLIAC. Despite the loss, the ‘Cats remain in third place in the north division. The Eagles have now won 24 straight games to improve to 24-1 on the season and 18-0 in the GLIAC.
“I’m not disappointed at all in the way we played today,” head coach Troy Mattson said. “All 13 players gave us a great effort and played hard out there today.”
NMU matched Ashland’s pace through the first 10 minutes of the game, keeping the Eagles in check and matching Ashland basket for basket. It was not until the 9:34 mark of the first half, when Ashland’s Kari Daughterly connected on a layup that the Eagles began to run away. From that point, Ashland went on a 17-4 run to end the half, taking a 36-18 lead into the break.
The Eagles continued their hot shooting to start the second half, going (5-of-7) from three-point land en route to a blistering 61.5 percent for the game. NMU continued to play from behind throughout the final 20 minutes of play, trailing by more than 25 points much of the second half. The ‘Cats bench netted 22 points on the afternoon, including 20 points in the final stanza.
NMU was led by senior guard Lyons with 18 points on (6-of-17) shooting and four steals. Senior forward Staci Beckel had a season-best 12 points, including a perfect (6-for-6) from the charity stripe.
The Eagles were paced by Ashley Dorner and Daugherty, who combined to score 50 of the teams 85 points, netting 25 points apiece.
NMU shot only 32.7 percent (18-for-55) from the floor and 31.3 percent (5-for-16) from beyond the arc.
The Eagles held a plus 20 advantage on the glass, edging the ‘Cats 41-21.
“Whenever we can get a split on the road, especially when facing a top five team in the nation, then it’s a success,” Mattson said.
NMU returns home next week to close out the regular season. The ‘Cats host Northwood on Thursday, Feb. 24. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. Next week’s action will be part of the “GLIAC Pink Wave” event supporting breast cancer research.
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