Courtesy of NMU Athletics
UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team played in its second straight overtime game of the season against Saginaw Valley State University. The Cardinals defeated NMU, 81-77 from University Center, Mich. in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 11-11 overall and 8-10 in the conference, while SVSU improves to 11-11 overall and 9-9 in the GLIAC.
After a tied game three times and three different lead changes in the first eight minutes of play in the second half, the Cardinals led for the next seven consecutive minutes. With 5:23 to go in the game, NMU evened the score (62-62) on a shot from in the lane by sophomore guard Alyssa Colla.
From there, the Cardinals went on a 5-1 run to give them the 67-65 advantage. Sophomore forward Abbey DeBruin then sank a shot from beyond the arc to put NMU in the lead by one (68-67) with 2:44 remaining in regulation. On NMU’s next possession, DeBruin was fouled and made both free throws to extend the Wildcat lead to three.
Northern maintained its lead until there were 34 ticks left on the clock. SVSU’s Emily Wendling made a layup, and was fouled. Wendling was sent to the line and completed the three point play to tie the game and send it into overtime.
In the extra minutes of play, the Cardinals opened with a jumper by Wendling and went up by five (77-72) before NMU went on the board. Freshman forward Nea Makela made a two-pointer and a free throw with 3:16 remaining to cut the deficit to two (77-75). However, the Cardinals controlled the remainder of the scoring after going 4-for-6 from the free throw line in the final three minutes.
Much like the second half, the first half was a back and forth battle. There were 11 lead changes and five ties, but NMU was able to take the 30-29 advantage at halftime.
The Wildcats had two players earn a career-high and a double-double for the game. Makela led the Wildcats with a career-high 22 points and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds. Freshman guard Anna Liewen also earned a career-high in points with 15 and rebounds with 10. Colla finished the game with 20 points, and DeBruin tallied 10.
NMU out-rebounded the Cardinals 43-39, and shot 39.9 percent (29-for-73) from the floor. Northern also ended the night shooting 11-for-17 (64.7 percent) from the free throw line.
For SVSU, Wendling led all scorers with 25 points and Katelyn Carriere finished with 18. Wendling completed the night with a double-double after pulling down 11 rebounds.
The Cardinals shot 45.2 percent (28-for-62) from the floor and was 85.7 percent (18-for-21) from the charity stripe.
Northern will play at Wayne State University on Saturday (Feb. 16) with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m. The Warriors defeated Michigan Technological University, 55-53 on Thursday (Feb. 14).