GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Northern Michigan University's Women's Basketball team closed the first quarter on a 16-2 run and recorded the season's best performance from the three-point line on their way to a 67-55 victory in the team's makeup game at Davenport University.
NMU tied a season-best team performance with nine makes from behind the arc and shot a season-high 56.3 percent from the three-point line.
Freshman Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis./Northland Pine) led the team with 14 points and posted a career-high six assists. Junior Emily Schramek (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) hit three three-pointers and finished with a career-high 13 points. Junior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis./DC Everest) chipped in with 10 points.
The Panthers scored first, but Hodell knocked in two free throws to tie the game. Davenport then hit a free throw and took a 3-2 lead with 6:25 to go in the opening quarter. A minute later, freshman Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) made a three-pointer to begin the NMU rally. Nearly two minutes later, Schramek added a three to make it 8-3 with 3:33 to go. Sophomore Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) made a layup, followed by a three-point play by Hodell to make it 13-3 with 1:25 on the clock.
On the next Wildcat possession, Smith made another three-pointer for NMU. With 18 seconds left in the first, Hodell sank two free throws to put the Wildcats ahead 18-3. Davenport closed out the quarter with a layup to end the opening frame with NMU on top 18-5.
The hosts opened the second quarter with two free throws and reduced the NMU lead to 24-17 with 3:56 to go in the period, but the Wildcats again responded and finished the quarter strong. After a three-pointer for DU, Schramek hit another three-pointer to put NMU back up 10, 27-17.
The Panthers made a free throw, but Smith answered with a layup. Schramek followed it with a jumper, and two free throws by Smith put the Wildcats ahead 33-18 with one minute left in the first half. Both teams scored on their final possession of the half, with Schultz hitting a layup with 12 seconds to go which sent NMU into the break with a 35-20 lead.
To open the second half, the Panthers hit back-to-back threes to reduce their deficit to single-digits, but Schultz got the double-figure lead back for NMU with a layup on their next possession. Smith and Lutz then scored on consecutive possessions which sandwiched a DU basket.
Junior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) gave Northern Michigan their largest lead of the game, 17 points, with her first three of the game, making the score 45-28 with 4:11 to go. The teams traded baskets, until Schramek made her third three of the game to put NMU on top 50-30. Hodell ended the quarter with a jumper to answer a DU free throw and NMU ended the third quarter with a 52-31 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, the host's managed to gradually reduce the deficit, but sophomore Bailey Denis (De Pere, Wis./West De Pere) and the Wildcats hit several key free throws down the stretch to claim the 67-55 victory.
NMU improves to 9-10 on the season, and 5-6 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Davenport falls to 7-9 and 5-5 in the GLIAC. The Wildcats will return to action on Sunday, January 28 as they look for revenge against their rival, Michigan Technological University, after falling by two in the Berry Events Center earlier this season.