MIDLAND - Northern Michigan University kept Northwood from mounting any kind of comeback attempt in the second half and cruised to a 56-46 victory in women's basketball action on Saturday evening.
The game was moved up five hours due to weather-related problems that closed the Mackinac Bridge after the Wildcats played Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday.
NMU kept alive a bid to catch coleaders Michigan Tech and Wayne State in the GLIAC North as the 'Cats improved to 18-7 overall and 15-6 in league games. The Timberwolves slipped to 13-12 and 11-10 and in danger of not making the GLIAC postseason tournament.
Northern senior forward Annie Rubendunst led all scorers with 17 points, while junior teammate Lauren Gruber added 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Rubendunst also pulled down seven boards.
Emily Kutch topped Northwood scorers with nine points as teammates Kaitlin Susan and Sarah Susan each snared six rebounds.
The Wildcats led the entire game, though the Timberwolves pulled within one point on several occasions during the first half. NMU led 30-22 at halftime, then kept the lead at least at seven points throughout the second half and in double digits for the final 12 1/2 minutes.
Northern trails the Huskies and Warriors by a single game with one game remaining, at home at the Berry Events Center against MTU at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.