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Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team opens season with road sweep at Wisconsin-Parkside

KENOSHA, Wis. — The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team completed a season-opening sweep at Wisconsin-Parkside in stunning fashion as they defeated the Rangers 77-76 on Sunday night.

A day earlier, the Wildcats held off the Rangers by a near-identical 77-74 count.

NMU comes home for the next two weekends, facing Saginaw Valley State on Saturday and Sunday before hosting Ferris State the following weekend.

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Sunday free throws

Northern’s Samantha Potter hit a pair of free throws with three seconds left for not only her only points of the game, but the points that lifted the Wildcats from a one-point deficit into the one-point victory.

Teammate Makaylee Kuhn scored a game- and career-high 38 points, adding in three rebounds and two assists. She made 16 of 22 shots from the field, including 2 of 4 3-pointers, while sinking 4 of 5 free throws. And 27 of her points came after halftime — 15 points in the fourth quarter and 12 in the third.

NMU trailed by 14 points entering the final 10 minutes before going on a 19-4 run to take a 68-67 lead with three minutes left. The teams traded the lead several times down the stretch before Potter’s end-of-the-game heroics.

After a back-and-forth start, Parkside used a 10-0 run to take a 14-6 lead. Northern battled to within 24-18 at the end of the first quarter before the home team went ahead 43-32 at the break.

Northern began the third with Kuhn hitting three straight shot to make it 43-36. But the Rangers then got hot, opening up an 18-point lead, 62-44, before NMU got back in the game.

The Wildcats’ only other double-digit scorer was Emily Mueller with 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while reserves Taya Stevenson and Ana Rhude had nine points apiece. Stevenson’s points all came on a trio of triples.

Claire Jakaitis led four UWP players in double figures with 17 points.

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Rhude awakens Saturday

Rhude went off for 20 points despite playing just 25 minutes, while Potter had nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Kuhn added 18 points and four caroms.

NMU again fell behind early, 13-4, before racing back to take a 20-18 lead after one quarter. Northern held the lead for almost all the second quarter, but Parkside managed to tie it 41-41 at halftime.

The Wildcats again pulled out front in the third, building their lead to 61-52 after three before the Rangers came back once again.

Parkside took a 74-73 lead with 30 seconds left on a Hannah Plockelman traditional three-point play, but Kuhn hit a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left, then added one more free toss with five seconds left for the final margin.

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

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