NMU women keep pace in GLIAC with win

By Journal Sports Staff

WESTVILLE, Ind. — Northern Michigan University remained in a tie atop the North Division of GLIAC women’s basketball with a 44-40 victory at Purdue Northwest on Saturday afternoon.

The Wildcats improved to 15-6 overall and 10-3 in league, sharing the North lead with Michigan Tech, which beat Wisconsin-Parkside 60-47 on Saturday.

Neither team shot particularly well, but Northern gained just enough of an advantage with a commanding 52-28 rebounding edge, led by junior Erin Honkala and senior Darby Youngstrom with 10 each.

The Wildcats shot just 26 percent from the field (14 of 55), including 14 percent on 3-pointers (3 of 21).

Junior Jessica Schultz of NMU was the game’s lone scorer in double figures with 13 points, while sophomore teammate Elizabeth Lutz made a pair of 3s and scored nine. Youngstrom and sophomore Lexi Smith added eight points apiece.

Pacing PNW (2-17, 0-13) was Bayle Goodman with nine points on a trio of triples. The Pride didn’t shoot much better than NMU, making 27 percent from the field (14 of 52).

Northern needed more than half the first quarter to get its first basket, a layup by Schultz with 3:53 left that made it 10-5 PNW.

The Pride built their advantage to 11 points before leading 19-9 at end of the first. But the Wildcats opened quarter No. 2 with a 13-0 run over the first six minutes to grab a 22-19 lead, led by Lutz sinking a pair of 3s.

The rest of the first half see-sawed with the teams tied 25-25 at halftime. PNW scored first in the second half for its last lead of the game. Northern quickly erased it and built a 39-30 lead early in the fourth before PNW went on a 7-0 run to pull within 39-37 with 4:14 to go.

Schultz converted a three-point play on a layup and free throw to open the cushion to two scores, 42-37, with 9 seconds to go, while Youngstrom made two free throws with 6 ticks left to insure the victory.

NMU returns home this week for its final two regular-season games at the Berry Events Center. The Wildcats host Saginaw Valley State University at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Northwood at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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