Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team locks into No. 3 seed in GLIAC tourney with win over Davenport, 64-54

Northern Michigan University’s CJ Romero looks to make a pass during a game played against Davenport at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Saturday. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — As a tennis announcer would say, the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team held serve to drop Davenport 64-54 on Saturday afternoon and enter this week’s GLIAC Tournament winning seven of its past eight games.

NMU kept firm hold of its third-place spot in the conference at 13-5, 19-8 overall. That is two games behind second-place Ferris State at 15-3 and two games ahead of fourth-place Michigan Tech at 11-7.

The hard-luck Panthers finished in a tie with Lake Superior State for ninth place in the league as each were 1-17. DU finished 3-25 overall.

While Davenport’s season ended with the loss, the Wildcats advance while staying put in the Berry Events Center, hosting No. 6 seed Wayne State (16-11, 9-9) at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday as the first half of a women’s-men’s doubleheader as the Northern men are also hosting a GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal.

After these women’s teams played to a 9-9 stalemate after one quarter on Saturday, Northern broke the game open in the middle two quarters, outscoring their guests by a 45-26 margin to take a 54-35 lead entering the final period.

Makaylee Kuhn and Ana Rhude, the two NMU players honored before the game on Senior Day, scored in double figures. Kuhn led all players with 19 points as she made 7 of 9 free throws, along with two rebounds and two assists. Rhude put in 10 points, making 6 of 8 free throws as she pulled down eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

Teammate Abi Fraaza came off the bench to score 16 points in just 15 minutes court time, making 6 of 7 from the field and 4 of 4 free throws while grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. CJ Romero added nine points, all on her 3-of-3 3-point shooting, to go with five rebounds, while Jacy Weisbrod added eight points as she hit two 3s.

Makenna Bryant, who grew up and played basketball for several years at Newberry before moving downstate to finish high school, was the only DU player scoring in double figures with 13 points as she also grabbed four rebounds and made two steals.

Though the score was tied after one quarter, NMU never trailed. The Wildcats jumped out on a 14-2 run to start the second quarter, building a 23-11 lead, before settling for a 32-23 halftime margin.

Northern re-established a double-digit lead, 35-25, barely more than a minute into the second half on a Weisbrod triple, and it stayed that way for the rest of the game.

In fact, the Wildcats grew their advantage twice to 22 points, the final time 54-32 with 1:56 left in the third following a pair of Fraaza free throws.

They still had a 19-point lead, 64-45, with 2:15 left before the Panthers finished the game on a 9-0 flourish to make the final more respectable.

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


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