Cold outside shooting dooms Northern Michigan University’s women’s basketball team in GLIAC tournament quarterfinals

Lexi Smith

ALLENDALE — The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team has struggled with its long-range shooting all season and that proved to haunt the Wildcats on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the GLIAC Tournament.

The Wildcats (15-14, 11-9 GLIAC) made just 1 of 12 on 3-pointers and only managed five points in the fourth quarter as they were eliminated by Grand Valley State 58-40. The Lakers move on to face Ferris State at Ashland on Saturday.

Lexi Smith led NMU with 17 points and was the only Wildcat to finish in double figures. GVSU’s Cassidy Boensch led all scorers with 18.

Northern’s Taylor Hodell scored the game’s first two points for the Wildcats’ only lead. Five minutes in and the Lakers were up 10-2. A three-point play from Smith helped close the gap to 10-7, but GVSU still led 13-9 heading to the second quarter.

After the Lakers extended their lead early in the second period, Northern’s Erin Honkala got the Wildcats back into it with four straight points, but GVSU eventually pushed its advantage to 25-14 and then 33-21 at the half.

NMU’s Emily Schramek got the deficit down to single digits on a bucket with 34 seconds left in the third quarter, but GVSU bounced back with a trey to take a lead of 46-35.

Smith tried to rally the Wildcats early in the fourth with two jump shots, but NMU didn’t score again until a Honkala free throw with 17 seconds left.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is