MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball team concludes their five-game road trip by visiting rival, Michigan Technological University, Sunday afternoon seeking revenge after falling 59-56 in the Berry Events Center earlier this season.
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Earlier this season: The Wildcats hosted MTU in December and jumped out to a 16-12 first quarter lead and held a 29-28 advantage at halftime. However, a slow third quarter put the Huskies ahead entering the fourth quarter. Down 59-56 in the remaining seconds, the team's last second three-point attempt to tie the game rimmed out.
Last week's action: NMU faced adversity as the week's schedule was changed once they hit the road. The Wildcats traveled to Wayne State University on Saturday but were unable to overcome shooting woes in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 64-50 defeat. Originally scheduled to play Davenport University Thursday, the game was postponed due to a norovirus outbreak on the Davenport campus and moved to Monday afternoon. NMU jumped out to an early 18-5 lead, fueled by an 16-2 run to end the quarter which powered the Wildcats to a 67-55 victory.
Schramek scores a career-high: Junior Emily Schramek (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) scored a career-high 13 points in the team's game at Davenport Monday. She finished the afternoon shooting five of 11 from the field, both career-highs as well. Schramek went three of five from behind the three-point line, which ties her most makes of the season as well. During the team's road trip, she has averaged 8.5 points per game and is shooting 45% from the three-point line.
Smith dishes out a career-high: In Monday's contest at Davenport, freshman Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis./Northland Pines) dished out a career high six assists. She also led the team with 14 points. As part of Smith's total points, she made two three-pointers, which is the most she has made in a game during her first season with NMU.
January Road Trip: The Wildcats are 2-2 on their January road trip, and feature three players averaging over 10 points. Sophomore Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) leads the way with 12.0 per game. Junior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis./DC Everest) is averaging 11.8 points a game. Smith rounds out the scoring with 10.3 points per game. Sophomore Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) is leading the team with 7.8 rebounds per night during the team's road trip.
Dominating the boards: In conference play, NMU leads the league in rebounding margin. The Wildcats hold an average of 8.2 more rebounds per game than their opponents. The team averages 39.4 rebounds a game and only allow 31.2 rebounds to their opponents. Honkala is leading the squad with 8.5 rebounds per game. Hodell, Smith and Schultz are all averaging over five rebounds per game as well.
The rivalry: The series dates back to the 1975-76 season with NMU holding an all-time edge of 52-44. The two teams have split their matchups the past two years. Last year at Tech, the Huskies defeated the Wildcats.