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Ferris State Bulldogs stifle Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team, 68-56

BIG RAPIDS — The injury- and illness-plagued Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team lost its second straight time on a GLIAC road trip after falling 68-56 at Ferris State on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs ran past the Wildcats, picking up 19 fast-break points to Northern’s three.

Elena Alaix led NMU (12-13, 9-10 GLIAC) with 16 points, while Jessica Schultz added 14 points and Makaylee Kuhn 13.

One positive for the Wildcats was that they still remain in contention for a home playoff game to start the upcoming GLIAC Tournament as Northern trails Wisconsin-Parkside by one game for the No. 4 seed.

Any win by Northern or loss by No. 9 Northwood will clinch a tourney bid for the Wildcats, too.

Eight teams makes the event, with the top four earning home quarterfinal games.

Each league team has three games remaining, and all three of NMU’s are at home, against current No. 2 seed Grand Valley State at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, vs. last-place Davenport at 3 p.m. Saturday and against Upper Peninsula rival and current No. 8 Michigan Tech at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27.

On Saturday, the first quarter was a close as the teams traded baskets throughout. After Zoe Anderson dropped in a layup to put GLIAC No. 3 seed Ferris (18-7, 12-5) up 12-9, Alaix answered with a triple to tie it and Kuhn put in a layup to give Northern a 14-12 lead. FSU held a 17-14 lead after one.

NMU stayed within three on a jumper by Schultz to make it 23-20, then the Bulldogs started to pull away. Ferris built its advantage up to double digits at 33-22 on a trey by Mallory McCartney with 4:15 left and it stayed up by at least 11 points for the remainder of the half.

The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 17 with 1:57 remaining in the third period on two free throws by McCartney, and still led 55-40 entering the fourth.

Northern got its deficit down to eight at 59-51 on a jumper by Schultz with 5:21 left.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal. net.

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