ASHLAND, Ohio -- The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball continued play at the Ashland Holiday Inn Classic on Sunday (Nov. 25). The Wildcats defeated Urbana University, 71-61 in its final game of the tournament, and improve to 3-1 on the season, while Urbana falls to 1-5.
The Blue Knights opened up the game on a three-point shot by Ciara Geiger, NMU answered back thirty seconds later with its own three-pointer by sophomore forward Maria Almquist to tie the game. From there it was a back and forth game, with the game being tied six different times. With two minutes to go in the half, Urbana took a six-point lead, and went into the half with a 32-28 lead.
The second half started on a layup by Geiger two minutes into the half to give the Blue Knights a six-point advantage. The Blue Knights held the lead until the 13 minute mark when sophomore forward Abbey DeBruin made the back end of two shots from the free throw line to tie the game at 40. NMU continued to lead for the remainder of the game, going up by as much as 12.
Leading the way offensively for NMU was sophomore guard Alyssa Colla with 19 points on four field goals and going 11-of-12 from the charity stripe. Three points behind was freshman forward Nea Makela with 16 points off of six field goals and four free throws. Closing out double figures for the ‘Cats were sophomore guard Lauren Gruber with 13 and Almquist with 12. On the boards, DeBruin led with 12 rebounds, five offensive and seven defensive, while Makela added 11. The ‘Cats shot 24-for-58 from field goal range, and 17-of-24 from the free throw line. NMU committed 28 turnovers on the afternoon, while the Blue Knights had 10.
Geiger led Urbana with 24 points on four shots from behind the arch, six field goals and was two-of-four from the free throw line. Kennedy Boggs was the only other Blue Knight in double digits with 13. Boggs, Mertzie and Christina Nagle each had four rebounds.
NMU will open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play this weekend with a pair of games in Canton, Ohio. The ‘Cats will first face Walsh University on Thursday (Nov. 29) at 8 p.m. and then will take on Malone University on Saturday (Dec. 1) at 3 p.m.
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