Press Box


SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. â€Â“ After losing a 14-pointlead to Lake Superior State University a little over a week ago the Northern Michigan University womenâ€Â™s basketball team wanted to make a statement to theLakers in the GLIAC Quarterfinals on Tuesday night.  Behind Allison Carrollâ€Â™scareer-high 24 points the â€Â˜Cats defeated the Lakers 64-56 to advance in theGLIAC Tournament.  NMU is now 16-11 on the season.  LSSU is now 21-6 on theseason. 


Entering the game the Lakers were ranked 12th inthis weekâ€Â™s USA Today/ESPN/WBCA NCAA II TOP 25.  After the first 20 minutes ofplay the scored was even at 31-all.  The â€Â˜Cats made the first two shots in thesecond half as Tiffany Grubaugh and Maria Kasza both connected for two-pointersfor the 35-31 lead.


NMU held the lead for the entire 20 minutes of the secondhalf.  The game was tied once in the half when Randi Johnson made a basket forLSSU to make it 35-all with 18:10 left in the game.  But the Lakers could onlyget as close as one point on five different occasions the rest of the game. 


With the â€Â˜Cats holding a one-point lead Carroll convertedone of her two free throws to give NMU the 56-54 lead with 3:10 left in thegame.  Maria Kasza made both of her free throws to extend the â€Â˜Cats lead tofour points at 58-54 with 1:31 left in the game.  The home team made only onebasket the final minute of the game.  NMU in the final minute of the game madeall six of their free throws to put the game away.  Tera Opperman, Kasza andTiffany Grubaugh all made two each.


Joining Carroll in double-figures in the scoring column wasKasza with 16 points.  Kasza ended the game with a double-double as she added11 rebounds in the win.  Both Opperman and Grubaugh had five assists. 


For the game the â€Â˜Cats were 22-58 from the floor for 37.9percent, which included 5-17 from the three-point line (29.4 percent).  NMUmade 17 trips to the free throw line and converted 15 of the throws (88.2percent).  The Lakers did have the advantage on the boards at 40-38.


NMU will face Grand Valley State University on Friday, March4 in Allendale, Mich. in the GLIAC Semifinals.


Prepared By
Dave Faiella
Sports Information Director