Strong First Half Not Enough as Wildcats Fall to #24 Lakers

Strong First Half Not Enough as Wildcats Fall to #24 Lakers

MARQUETTE, Mich.  – The Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball team held a 28-22 halftime lead over #24 Grand Valley State University, but it was not enough as they fell 52-38 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.

Freshman Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis./Northland Pines) scored double-digits for the fifth-straight game, and 13th time this season, as she led the Wildcats with 10 points.  Freshman Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) added eight while junior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis./DC Everest) chipped in with seven points and led the team with nine rebounds.

To begin the game, the visiting Lakers scored first but Smith and sophomore Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) scored on back-to-back possessions to put NMU ahead 4-2.  After another GVSU bucket, Lutz put the Wildcats back ahead 7-4 with a three-pointer.  Smith extended the lead with a layup and made it 9-4 five minutes into the game. 

The Lakers bounced back and pulled within 9-8, but Honkala made a free throw, then junior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) knocked in a three-pointer to make it 13-8 with 3:14 to go in the first quarter.  Hodell hit a free throw to answer two from GVSU to take a 14-10 lead at the end of the first.

Hodell opened the second quarter with a layup, and Smith answered a GVSU bucket with her own jumper.  Lutz then hit her second three in response to a three by the guests to go up 21-15 less than three minutes into the quarter.   GVSU rallied but a jumper by Honkala with 2:44 left in the frame had NMU ahead 23-19.  The Lakers responded with a three-pointer to pull within one, but Smith answered with a jumper, and Schultz hit a three in the final seconds before the buzzer to make it 28-22 after the first half.

In the third quarter, the Lakers rallied back and eventually held a 35-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.  In the final frame, strong offense by the ranked Lakers was too much for NMU as the guests took a 52-38 victory.

The Wildcats fall to 10-12 on the season and 6-8 in the GLIAC while GVSU improved to 18-4, 11-3 in the league.  Northern Michigan returns to action Thursday and hit the road for the final time of the regular season by visiting Northwood University Thursday night. 

 

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