Huskies present tough test for NMU women’s basketball

By Journal Sports Staff

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team wraps up the 2017 portion of this season’s schedule with a GLIAC Upper Peninsula rivalry game and then a nonconference game over the next three days.

The Wildcats host GLIAC North Division-leading Michigan Tech at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Berry Events Center, then hit the road for a game at Minnesota-Duluth with an unusual weekday starting time of 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The NMU men flip-flop those times, playing the same opponents at 1 p.m. Sunday and 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The home game against the Huskies is also the Rock Your Socks game where children receive free admission by bringing new socks, which will be donated to community organizations.

Sunday’s game are available at the NMU sports website with video, live statistics and audio, while WLUC-TV6 will televise both. Tuesday’s game in Duluth will also have video, live stats and audio on the website.

Other coverage is available on Twitter at @NMU_Wildcats.

The Northern women, 6-5 overall and 2-2 in the GLIAC, are coming off their largest victory of the season at Purdue University Northwest, winning 80-52 on Thursday, before succumbing to Grand Valley State 66-59 in double overtime on Saturday.

The Wildcats outshot the Purdue team 56-32 percent from the field as three players scored in double figures. Against GVSU, the game was tied at halftime and following the third and fourth quarters and the first OT with a total of 12 tied scores.

Freshman Lexi Smith posted a career-high 29 points vs. Grand Valley, while junior Taylor Hodell returned from injury and shot 56 percent while averaging 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds each game.

Smith is third in GLIAC games at 19.5 ppg while averaging 6.3 rebounds. She’s also made 20 of 21 free throws, better than 95 percent success.

Also in NMU’s four conference games, sophomore Erin Honkala leads the league with 9.8 rebounds a game and tops all Wildcats in blocked shots and steals.

As a team overall this fall, Northern has nearly twice the blocked shots of its opposition and seven more rebounds per game.

As far as the all-time series vs. Michigan Tech, NMU has a 52-43 edge going back to the 1975-76 season with the teams splitting the past two seasons, home teams winning every game. The Huskies are 10-1 overall and 4-0 in the GLIAC North, their only loss in Minnesota to Augustana, South Dakota on Nov. 24.

Against Minnesota-Duluth, Northern leads 23-17 all-time and won 69-55 last season. The Bulldogs are 6-1 this season with their only loss 79-70 in overtime to MTU.

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