Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team looks for redemption on road

Northern Michigan University's Ana Rhude, right, works her way around Lake Superior State defender CeCe Hacker during their GLIAC women's basketball game played on Dec. 11 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team hits the road this week to end January with a chance of playing catch-up in the GLIAC.

The Wildcats are fourth in the conference with a 6-3 record, two games behind leaders Michigan Tech and Grand Valley State and a game behind third-place Wisconsin-Parkside.

NMU (11-7 overall) travels to Sault Ste. Marie to take on Lake Superior State at 5:30 p.m. today before heading over the Mackinac Bridge to Big Rapids to face Ferris State at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Northern returns home the following week to host Saginaw Valley State on Feb. 2 and Wayne State on Feb. 4.

While none of the top teams play each other today, Parkside faces off at GVSU on Saturday afternoon.

Among NMU’s opponents this week, Lake Superior State is struggling at 5-12 overall and 2-7 in the GLIAC, while Ferris is 11-7 and 4-5.

Last week, the Wildcats gave national No. 3 Grand Valley a good battle before falling 45-38 on Thursday. That was by far a season low in points for the Lakers, whose previous low was 62, but NMU shot just 27% from the field and 20% on 3-pointers and scored a total of eight points in the middle two quarters combined to negate that defensive advantage.

Then Northern bounced back with a 57-46 triumph over Davenport on Saturday.

For the season, the Wildcats score 60.4 points per game and allow 56.4. They’re now the lowest-scoring team in the league by nearly a point and a half, but their defensive number is second-best behind Grand Valley and more than four points better than any other conference team.

Junior Makaylee Kuhn is easily NMU’s top scorer at 15.9 ppg and rebounder at 7.6 per contest. She ranks eighth in the GLIAC in scoring and seventh in rebounding. She makes 85% on free throws, sinking 62 of 73, and also leads the team in assists with 55.

Sophomore teammate Mackenzie Holzwart is next in those top two statistical categories at 9.8 ppg and 5.5 rebounds a game while also leading Northern with 30 steals.

Sophomore Ana Rhude leads NMU with 32 blocked shots, more than half the team’s total.

The Wildcats are back in the Division 2 Sports Information Directors Association regional poll in 10th this week.

Today’s opponent, LSSU, has lost four of its last five games even while going 5-2 on its home court this season. The Lakers average 64.1 ppg, seventh in the GLIAC, but give up 71.2 ppg, nearly two points worse than any other league squad.

Mattison Rayman leads Lake State in scoring at 16.2 ppg, with Margot Woughter is at 13.9 ppg and Grace Bradford at 12.4 ppg.

In the NMU-LSSU game played at the Berry Events Center on Dec. 11, Kuhn scored a season-high 28 points to go with 12 rebounds and four assists in the Wildcats’ 72-64 victory. Holzwart added 12 points, Alyssa Nimz 11 and Vivianne Jende 10.

Ferris State has lost its last three games and is also an offensive-minded team, No. 3 in scoring in the GLIAC at 72.4 ppg while giving up only a sixth-best 64.0 ppg.

Chloe Idoni leads Bulldogs’ scorers at 17.4 ppg, with Kenzie Bowers at 11.1 and Mallory McCartney at 10.7.

On Dec. 9 at the Berry, Ferris prevailed over NMU 60-54. Kuhn scored 20 that night, while Elena Alaix added 19 and Rhude had 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

NMU struggled on 3-pointers, making just 1 of 13 (8%), and committed 20 turnovers to just eight for FSU.

This week’s games will be broadcast on WUPT 100.3 FM The Point.

Fans can follow this team @nmu_wbball and @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter for continuous updates throughout the week.

Visit the Wildcats’ athletics website at nmuwildcats.com under the women’s basketball schedule to watch the game or for audio, live statistics, a game preview and history of their series.

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


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today