Northern Michigan University Wildcats women’s basketball team zips past Finlandia as local players see action for both teams
MARQUETTE — There were a few firsts set at the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball game played against Upper Peninsula rival Finlandia on Tuesday evening at the Berry Events Center.
The Wildcats played their first home game of the season and easily ran by the NCAA Division III Lions 76-49.
NMU freshman Reide Osterman, a May graduate of Baraga High School, scored her first collegiate points, six of them in 18 minutes playing time as she made all four of her free throw attempts and hit one of two shots from the field, while also making two steals and grabbing a rebound.
And it was a return to the area for 2018 Negaunee High School graduate Natalie Bartle, who is a junior at Finlandia after transferring following a year at Nebraska-Omaha. Bartle also played at Colorado Mesa for two years before that.
Bartle already led the Lions in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals entering the game, and on this night, she led FU in scoring with 12 points, assists and steals with four each, and was tied for second on her team in rebounds with four.
As far as the outcome of the game, it was all Wildcats from the opening tip as they raced to an 8-0 lead after 2 1/2 minutes and built their advantage to 23-8 after one quarter and 48-17 at halftime.
NMU improved to 4-1 while Finlandia slipped to 2-4.
Northern’s Kayla Tierney and Abi Fraaza led all scorers with 14 points apiece, as Tierney had five of them in the opening eight-point run.
Fraaza also shared game rebounding honors with teammate Ana Rhude as each had seven rebounds. Fraaza was also an efficient shooter, making 3 of 3 from the field and 8 of 10 free throws, while Tierney hit from long range, making 4 of 8 on 3-pointers.
The Wildcats’ Elena Alaix added 11 points and five rebounds, while Rhude and Andrea Perez contributed seven points apiece. Rhude also had four blocked shots and Perez four rebounds.
For Finlandia, L’Anse High School grad Maija Rice scored seven points and pulled down four rebounds, while Baraga graduate Martina Jahfetson didn’t score but had two rebounds and an assist.
NMU built its lead to as many as 37 points, 67-30, barely more than a minute into the fourth quarter before the Lions cut into that advantage by 10 points when the game ended.
The Wildcats remain home for two more games against state of Minnesota nonconference opposition this weekend, hosting Minnesota-Duluth at 3 p.m. today and St. Cloud State at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Northern opens its GLIAC season on the road next week, while its next home game isn’t until 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, against Ferris State.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.