MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball opens Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play this week as they head to Northwood University Thursday night and then take on Saginaw Valley State University Saturday afternoon.
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FRIDAY AT NORTHWOOD: 6 P.M.
SATURDAY AT SAGINAW VALLEY: 1 P.M.
| LAST TIME OUT
The Wildcats played in the Radisson Hotel Classic and took on host Concordia University, St. Paul and NAIA foe University of Jamestown and split the two games. Against CSP, the Wildats were unable to hold on to their early lead, falling 63-61. The next night they held on through a strong defensive effort to defeat the Jimmies 54-45.
| GETTING FREE CHANCES
Northern Michigan has nearly doubled their opponents from their charity stripe this season. The Wildcats are 99-129 from the charity stripe, shooting 76% from the line while their opponents have only shot 76 this season, making 53, and are shooting 69%. NMU has forced the opposition into 139 fouls while only committing 94.
| MAKING IT DIFFICULT
The team's strong defense has been key to their early success. This past weekend, the Wildcats kept their opponents to just 40-48 from the field, allowing them just 31% shooting. From the three-point line, NMU held CSP and Jamestown to 26%, 16-61. Against the Jimmies, they kept Jamestown to 24% from the field, including just 9.5% in the first quarter.
For the season, NMU is holding the other team to 34% shooting which is the lowest shooting percentage allowed in the GLIAC. They are allowing just 26% from three-point range.
| LEADING THE WAY
NMU features two players who are averaging double figures this season. Sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) is averaging 11.3 points this season and features a 24-point game in a win over Minnesota State University-Mankato. Junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) is averaging 10.4 points this year and is also leading the team with 10 blocks. Two players are just shy of double digits as senior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis.) is at 8.9 points and senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) has 8.6 points per game.
| NMU VERSUS NORTHWOOD
The Wildcats lead the all-time series 45-20 but Northwood has captured 5 of the last six meetings, with the last three by a total margin of just 13 points. NU enters this week 2-4 on the year, including a defeat of then #19 Southern Indiana University.
| NMU VERSUS SVSU
NMU won the past two meetings to take a 49-29 lead in series. SVSU is currently 0-3 this season and will host Michigan Technological University Thursday night. The Cardinals are dealing with change as Ryan Trevithick is in an interim head coach position after their former head coach resigned November 14.