NMU women’s hoops: Colla scores 27 but Wildcats still fall to Ferris State

MARQUETTE – It was too little, too late for the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team as it suffered a 69-61 GLIAC loss to Ferris State Saturday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.

With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 11-3 overall and 8-2 in the GLIAC. Ferris improves to 6-7 and 5-5, respectively.

“I just don’t think we were ready to play at all,” NMU junior guard Alyssa Colla said.

“Ferris is one of the best teams in our conference, they just don’t have a record that shows it. I think we might have underestimated them a little bit.”

The Bulldogs took a lead over the ‘Cats about 10 minutes into the game, extending it to a high of 18 part-way through the second half.

NMU attempted to close the gap, but was only able to work it down to six points before the buzzer.

Colla broke her career-high in points on Saturday with 27 after setting the mark just two days prior with 25 against Grand Valley State.

Her standout performance was enough to guide the ‘Cats to a win on Thursday, but a team field goal percentage of 35.9 percent was not enough to counter the Bulldogs’ size and athleticism.

“When you’re not shooting the ball well from the outside, there’s got to be another option,” head coach Troy Mattson said.

“(The Bulldogs) are big, strong, athletic and we couldn’t establish anything on the inside.”

The bulk of the Bulldogs’ points came from three players with a combination of size and speed. Sarah DeShone led Ferris with 17 points, trailed by Destiny Robinson with 16 and Christina Branch with 12.

The Wildcats displayed their dominance as a strong rebounding team with 43 boards compared to Ferris’ 27.

Top rebounders for NMU were junior Abbey DeBruin with nine and sophomore Nea Makela with eight.

Despite the loss, Mattson said his team should not be nervous. They’re still in the hunt for a GLIAC title.

“Worse case scenario, we’re two behind Tech and we haven’t played them yet,” Mattson said. “What we need is to go on the road and do some work for ourselves.”

The ‘Cats travel downstate this week, facing Saginaw Valley on Thursday and Wayne State on Saturday.

“It’s just a matter of bouncing back, refocusing, figuring out what we did in this game and improving on it,” Colla said.