Makaylee Kuhn, Kayla Tierney lead Northern Michigan University women’s basketball tean to GLIAC opening win at Northwood, 77-69

Northern Michigan University women’s basketball head coach Troy Mattson enjoys a light moment on the bench during a game earlier this season at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MIDLAND — Balanced scoring led by Makaylee Kuhn helped the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team open its GLIAC season with a 77-69 victory at Northwood on Thursday evening.

With both of Thursday’s combatants now 5-2 overall, the Wildcats are preparing for a showdown at Michigan Tech at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The Huskies, the only league team not playing a GLIAC game Thursday, are 5-1.

Monday’s game is scheduled to be telecast on WLUC-TV6 or Fox-U.P. and broadcast on radio station WUPT 100.3 FM The Point.

On Thursday, Kuhn led all scorers with 16 points, making 7 of 9 shots from the field while dishing out a game-high seven assists and pulling down six rebounds.

Teammate Kayla Tierney provided NMU’s outside presence, scoring all 15 of her points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range as she also had two assists.

Northern Michigan University women's basketball players slap hand during pregame introductions before a game played earlier this season. (Photo courtesy NMU)

Northern’s Elizabeth Lutz contributed 12 points, making 3 of 4 on triples to go with three rebounds and all three of her team’s steals, while Samantha Potter added 10 points, hitting all four of her shots from the field to go with six rebounds.

Teammate Emily Mueller pulled down a game-high nine rebounds as she also had four assists to go with six points.

Ava DiMilia paced the Timberwolves with 14 points.

While the teams shot similar percentages, NMU held a decisive 40-28 rebounding advantage even while Northwood won the turnover battle 16-11.

The Wildcats steadily built their lead, outscoring Northwood in each of the first three quarters.

Freshman Vivianne Jende provided an early spark for Northern, scoring five points in her first 91 seconds after entering about halfway through the first quarter. With the T’wolves leading 23-21, Jende also hit a 3-pointer just over a minute into the second quarter to give NMU the lead.

The teams traded the lead several times in the first six minutes of the second period until Potter made a layup exactly four minutes before halftime to put Northern up 30-28.

It was a lead the Wildcats wouldn’t relinquish as they remained ahead 40-34 at halftime before expanding the advantage to 13 points on two occasions in the second half, 50-37 with 6:13 left in the third after a Kuhn jumper and 71-58 with 4:34 to go when Potter sank a triple.

Between those double-digit leads, Northwood whittled its deficit to as few as four points several times early in the fourth.

NMU did up its lead to 75-61 with 3:04 to go on a Mueller jumper and held off a late Timberwolves charge that got them as close as six points in the final minute.

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


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