MARQUETTE, Mich. — Grand Valley State edged the Northern Michigan women's basketball team, 56-53, Saturday afternoon at the Berry Events Center to halt its home winning streak at eight games.
With five seconds remaining in regulation, Piper Tucker forced a turnover and was fouled during a layup attempt on a fast break. Piper sank both of her free throws to give the Lakers a 54-53 edge.
The Wildcats fouled Tucker to stop the clock with three seconds left to play, and she again drained both of her free throws. Northern Michigan set up for the game-tying three-point shot, but Bailey Cairnduff picked off a pass to ice the game.
The Wildcats entered the fourth quarter with a 45-35 lead. With 6:21 left in that frame, Tucker capped a Grand Valley State possession extended by three offensive rebounds with a three-point shot to pull her team within one, at 35-34.
Northern Michigan responded with a 10-1 run to build its 45-35 advantage, its largest of the game. During that run, Bre Gaspervich found Emily Schramek for a three-point shot that got the crowd buzzing and Gaspervich drained a three-point shot of her own.
The Lakers battled back in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 47 with 5:38 remaining in regulation. After a Taylor Lutz three-point shot gave them a 50-47 lead, Hodell answered with a layup to pull the Wildcats back within one.
Tess Weatherly made a three-point shot and drew a foul with 1:50 left on the clock. She made her free throw to complete the rare four-point play and give Northern Michigan a 53-50 lead.
A pair of Taylor Parmley free throws drew Grand Valley State within one at the 37-second mark. Tucker ultimately played hero for the Lakers with her steal and four free throws.
The first half was very even. With two seconds remaining, Gaspervich made a layup to give the Wildcats a 26-25 advantage going into the intermission.
Gaspervich (14) and Hodell (12) were the lone Wildcats to score in the double digits. Darby Youngstrom set a new career high with a game-best 13 rebounds, eight of which were offensive.
Northern Michigan shot 36.4 percent from the floor, 35.7 from three and 72.7 from the free-throw line. The Wildcats outscored the Lakers in the paint, 28-24, and scored 12 points off of turnovers and seven off of offensive rebounds.
With the loss, only their second at home this season, Northern Michigan's eight-game home winning streak was snapped. The Wildcats are now 13-7 (8-5 GLIAC) on the season.
Northern Michigan returns to action on Monday, Jan. 30, hosting rival Michigan Tech at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on FOX UP/TV6.