Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team falls to No. 17 Southern Indiana

Erin Honkala

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — A rough third quarter doomed the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team in a 59-49 loss to nationally ranked Southern Indiana on Sunday afternoon.

The Wildcats led 24-22 at halftime but were outscored 21-10 in the third period to the No. 17 ranked Eagles (6-0).

NMU (4-3) committed five turnovers in a quarter where USI put up 18 shots, making half, or nine, of them.

For the second straight game, Northern sophomore Erin Honkala posted double-digit rebounds. On Sunday, she pulled down a game-high 12 to go with 12 points, three blocked shots and two steals.

Junior teammate Darby Youngstrom led Wildcats scorers with 16 points, including making 10 of 10 on free throws to complete a 19-of-20 performance in two weekend games at the line.

Darby Youngstrom

NMU freshman Lexi Smith added nine points, junior Emily Schramek seven and Youngstrom and freshman Amber Huebner, a Marquette Senior High School graduate, each had two steals and two assists.

Northern grabbed a 6-5 lead with less than four minutes elapsed on a Youngstrom layup, keeping it for all but about 30 seconds of the remainder of the first half.

The Wildcats gave up the lead early in the second half, but tied the game several times in the third quarter, the last at 30-30 with 5:00 to go on a pair of free throws by Youngstrom.

Then Southern Indiana went on a 15-4 spurt running into the first minute of fourth quarter to grab a 45-34 lead as its lead didn’t go under nine points after that.

NMU returns to Marquette to open its GLIAC and home season this week, hosting Northwood at 8 p.m. Thursday and Saginaw Valley State at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Berry Events Center. A late October home game against Finlandia was considered an exhibition.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is