Marquette, Mich. — Northern Michigan University's Women's Basketball Team hosts their rival, Michigan Technological University, Sunday in the first of two matchups this season. They then head to Minnesota to finish the first half of the season at University of Minnesota Duluth Tuesday afternoon.
Sunday's game will tip-off at approximately 3 p.m. The game is also the Rock Your Socks game where children will receive free admission if they bring new socks to the game. All socks are being donated to various organizations in the community.
For continued coverage of the game, follow @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter.
Largest win of the year: The Wildcats visited Purdue University Northwest on Thursday and came away with their largest win of the season, defeating the Pride 80-53. NMU featured three players in double-figures and the team shot 56% from the field through the first three quarters. Defensively, they held PNW to just 32% throughout the game.
Double overtime at GVSU: NMU took on Grand Valley State University Saturday and took the Lakers into double overtime, but were unable to pull out the road victory. The game was tied at halftime, after both the third and fourth quarters, and again after the first overtime, totaling 12 ties throughout the 50 minutes of play. Three players played over 40 minutes on the day while freshman Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis./Northland Pines) posted a career-high 29 points.
Big return: Junior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis./DC Everest) returned from injury last week and made he presence known in a big way, averaging 11.5 points in the two games on 56% shooting. She also tallied 6.5 rebounds a game while posting two blocks.
Smith's leading the way: Smith has taken a larger role in the offense since the conference season began. She is leading the Wildcats, and is third in the conference, with 19.5 points a game. Of those who have played in all four games, she is second on the team with 6.3 rebounds per outing. From the free throw line, she is nearly perfect, going 20-21.
Honkala's hustle: Counting only conference games, sophomore Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) is leading the league with 9.8 rebounds per outing. She has grabbed 32 defensive rebounds and seven offensive boards. In addition to controlling the glass, Honkala also leads the Wildcats in blocked shots and steals. For the entire season, she accounts for 17 of the team's 47 total blocks, and 22 of the teams 67 steals.
Out-performing the opposition: NMU has nearly twice the number of blocked shots as their opponents this season. In addition to Honkala's 17, sophomore Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) has notched 10. Junior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) has posted seven while typically guarding the other team's best offensive player. The Wildcats also have outrebounded opponents by more than seven rebounds a game, averaging 37.3 rebounds while the other team only grabs 30 per game.
The rivalry: The series dates back to the 1975-76 season with NMU holding an all-time edge of 52-43. The two teams have split their matchups the past two years, with the home team winning each game. Last year at the Berry Events Center, NMU came away with a 66-55 victory over the Huskies.
NMU versus UMD: The Wildcats have won the past two matchups with Minnesota Duluth, winning 69-55 last season. In the all-time series, NMU leads 23-17. This season, UMD enters the weekend at 6-1 on the year, winning each game by double-figures. Their lone loss came in a 79-70 loss to Michigan Tech.