NMU women hit FTs to win

By Journal Sports Staff

MARQUETTE — Despite missing their scoring leader, the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team withstood what appeared to be an aggressive opponent and posted a 60-52 victory over winless Saginaw Valley State on Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinals made 13 steals while forcing the Wildcats into 28 turnovers, but also committed 30 fouls and sent NMU to the free-throw line 37 times.

Led by freshman Lexi Smith, Northern made 31 of those free throws, an 83.8 percent success rate.

Smith was a perfect 15 of 15 at the line for a game-high 21 points as she shared game rebounding honors with nine. Tess Weatherly added nine points for NMU (5-4, 1-1 GLIAC).

Smith helped the Wildcats hold a dominating 47-24 rebound advantage and 9-0 whitewash in blocked shots. Teammate Sydney Dillinger pulled in nine rebounds, Erin Honkala had seven and Jessica Schultz added six. Honkala had four blocks and Schultz two.

SVSU (0-8, 0-2) was paced by Hannah Settingsgaard with 14 points, four steals and a team-high four rebounds.

Northern, missing junior Darby Youngstrom and her 14-point, five-rebound average after she was injured against Northwood on Thursday, employed several other players who hadn’t seen much time, including Marquette Senior High School graduates Terese Ledy and Amber Huebner. Ledy played 20 minutes and scored six points, making all four of her free throws.

The teams traded the lead down the stretch of the first half, the Wildcats leading 25-23 at the break before the game was tied numerous times early in the third quarter.

NMU established a 42-35 lead heading into the final period and kept a lead of at least six points throughout the final 10 minutes.

Northern goes on a road trip this week, visiting Purdue Northwest on Thursday and Grand Valley State Saturday.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.