Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team finds shooting touch again in 68-57 win at Minnesota-Duluth

Northern Michigan University’s Elena Alaix, right, guards Minnesota-Duluth’s Sarah Grow during their game played in Duluth, Minn., on Saturday. (Photo courtesy NMU)

DULUTH, Minn. — After its shooting went into the deep freeze in a loss at St. Cloud State on Friday, the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team found its touch again on Saturday in a 68-57 victory at Minnesota-Duluth.

The Wildcats (4-2) almost doubled their shooting rate from the field at Duluth, going from 26 percent success at St. Cloud to 49 percent at UMD. NMU also augmented that with a 15-of-17 day (88 percent) at the free throw line.

That was led by sophomore guard Makaylee Kuhn, who led all scorers with 28 points as she made 10 of 15 from the field and 8 of 9 free throws.

Kuhn also shared Wildcat rebounding honors with six and led the team with three assists and three steals.

Freshman Kayla Tierney added 11 points as she sank three 3-pointers and both her free throws, while Vivianne Jende had eight points and four rebounds.

Emily Mueller joined Kuhn in pulling down six rebounds, while Ana Rhude added three blocked shots to her two points.

Brooke Olson paced Duluth (2-3) with 23 points, including 7 of 7 on her free throws. That was much like the Bulldogs, who made 24 of 27 (89 percent) at the line while only sinking 16 of 56 (29 percent) from the field. And their 3-point shooting was particularly cold as they made just 1 of 22 (5 percent).

The teams traded the lead several times in the opening quarter with the Wildcats taking a 17-14 advantage at the first break following a 5-0 run that included a free throw, layup and jumper by Kuhn on separate plays.

NMU built its lead up to five points, 22-17, on another Kuhn layup with 9:04 left in the second, though Duluth briefly retook the lead and also tied it 27-27 less than two minutes before halftime. But a pair of baskets by Jende put Northern ahead 31-27 at the break.

NMU never trailed in the second half, though the Bulldogs did tie it three times. Northern’s biggest lead in the third quarter was 41-35 with 5:08 left following a pair of Elizabeth Lutz free throws.

In the fourth, UMD tied it 54-54 before a 7-1 run put NMU up 61-55 with 3:18 left following a Kuhn layup. The lead didn’t shrink under five points the rest of the way as Northern ended the game on a 6-0 spurt.

The Wildcats continue on the road to open their GLIAC campaign. NMU travels to Midland to face Northwood at 6 p.m. Thursday before coming home and heading out to Houghton to play at Michigan Tech at 5:30 p.m. next Monday.

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


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