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Michigan Tech deals Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team a 63-49 loss

Northern Michigan University’s Makaylee Kuhn drives to the basket as Michigan Tech’s Bailie McGirk, right, defends during the first quarter on Tuesday at the NMU PEIF gym in Marquette. (Journal photo by Ryan Stieg)

MARQUETTE — The first time the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team took on rival Michigan Tech this season, it ended up getting handed a tough loss up in Houghton.

On Tuesday, NMU got its rematch with the Huskies and although they kept it close for most of the game, Tech broke free in the fourth quarter and dealt the Wildcats another defeat, 63-49. Northern was also plagued by mistakes as it had 20 turnovers.

Elena Alaix led the Wildcats with 15 points, while Kayla Tierney had 12. MTU’s offensive leader was Jordan Ludescher, who had 21 points.

The first half was a tight one with the Huskies holding an 11-9 advantage after the first quarter. Tech then opened the second quarter with a run, but NMU called timeout and slowly started to chip away at the Huskies lead. A 3-pointer by Tierney with 1:35 left cut the Huskies’ advantage to four at 26-22 and the Wildcats went into the half down 27-22.

The Huskies held a 31-25 early in the third, but the Wildcats got within one with about 4:40 left on a triple by Taya Stevenson. Later, back-to-back buckets by Makaylee Kuhn tied the game 33-33 with just over three minutes left in the quarter. However, Tech scored three straight baskets, the last one by Bailie McGirk, to hold a 39-33 advantage with just over a minute remaining. The Huskies took a 41-37 lead into the fourth.

From that point on, it was mostly Huskies. Tech started the fourth with an 8-0 run before Samantha Potter ended it with a putback with about 7:10 left. MTU pushed its advantage to double digits with around 6:30 remaining at 51-39, and after a free throw by Northern’s Ana Rhude, the Huskies got two layups from Cassidy Trotter and Ellie Mackay to go up 55-40. Northern got within 10 twice thanks to four points by Alaix, but that’s the closest it would get.

NMU travels to Davenport this weekend with Friday’s tipoff set for 5 p.m. and Saturday’s for 1 p.m.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.

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