Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team falls short against No. 3 Grand Valley State Lakers, 58-41

ALLENDALE — Two days after picking up a solid victory over Davenport that kept the Panthers winless in the GLIAC, the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team came up short Saturday against No. 3 Grand Valley State, falling 58-41.

Erin Honkala led the Wildcats (9-10, 6-5 GLIAC) with 11 points, while Jessica Schultz had 10. Northern is in third place in the GLIAC North, a game ahead of Michigan Tech.

The second quarter doomed NMU against the Sawyers (Saturday’s game was a throwback where the Lakers changed their nickname for the day).

The Wildcats stayed tight with GVSU (18-1, 10-1) in the first quarter, though. Trailing 11-6, Northern rallied to tie it on two free throws from Schultz and a triple from Liz Lutz.

Tied 11-11 to start the second, things went downhill quickly for the Wildcats as they were outscored 16-4 in the quarter. After a Schultz layup with 3:58 left to cut NMU’s deficit to 19-15, the Sawyers got back-to-back treys from Brooke McKinley and Victoria Hedemark, followed by a layup by Maddie Dailey. GVSU took a 27-15 advantage into halftime.

Northern tried to rally in the third, trimming the Sawyers’ lead to six at 32-26 on a pair of free throws from Honkala, but GVSU built its lead back to double digits on a triple by Hedemark with 2:14 remaining.

The Wildcats continue their road trip on Thursday when they travel to Saginaw Valley State followed by a game at Northwood Saturday.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.