DULUTH, Minn. – Sophomore Emma Benoit (Gilberts, Ill./Hampshire) scored a career-high in the Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball Team's final game of 2017 at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Despite an early lead and strong fourth quarter, the Wildcats fell to the Bulldogs 76-55.
Benoit scored 12 points to lead the Wildcats. Redshirt freshman Terese Ledy (Marquette, Mich.) added nine points, going three of three from the three-point line.
Junior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) started the game with a three-pointer to put NMU up early. After the Bulldogs knocked in a jumper, sophomore Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) hit a three, followed by two Honkala baskets to put the Wildcats up 10-2 early.
The hosts answered with a 10-0 run to go ahead 12-10 with 2:35 to go in the first quarter. Smith made a jumper to tie, then the teams exchanged baskets to end the period tied 16-16.
In the second quarter, UMD outscored the Wildcats 23-5, and followed it with a 26-12 advantage throughout the third quarter.
The fourth quarter began with two free throws by Benoit, followed by Ledy and sophomore Baleigh Delorit (Algoma, Wis.) hitting back-to-back threes. Benoit soon answered a Bulldog three pointer with a layup and freshman Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) and Ledy then combined for three baskets from behind the arc. Later in the quarter, Lutz hit two free throws, then Benoit hit jumpers on two straight possessions to help guide the Wildcats outscoring the Bulldogs 22-11 in the fourth quarter.
With the loss, NMU falls to 6-7 on the season while UMD improved to 7-2 overall. The Wildcats will return to action Thursday, January 4 and will take on Tiffin University in the Berry Events Center as the team continues Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.