MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team never trailed as the Wildcats rolled to a 67-52 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win over Ferris State Saturday at the Berry Events Center.
The Wildcats improved to 8-6 overall with a 6-4 GLIAC mark. Ferris State fell to 7-6 overall with a 5-5 league record.
Senior guard Alyssa Colla led the Wildcats with a game-high 21 points while senior guard Lauren Gruber added 19 and led NMU with seven rebounds and seven assists going 4-5 from the field, 3-3 from three-point range and 8-8 from the charity stripe.
NMU shot 57.9-percent from the floor in the first half including going 6-11 (.545) from three point range. Colla led NMU with 12 first half points going 5-7 from the floor and 2-2 from downtown to take a 33-23 lead
The Wildcats opened up the second half with a 7-0 run forcing a Ferris State timeout and extending their lead to 40-23. NMU then scored five straight capped off by a three-pointer from Colla with 16:14 left in the second half to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the game 45-26.
A layup by Ferris State’s Christina Branch with 7:04 left in the game cut the NMU lead to single-digits at 54-45 but NMU outscored the Bulldogs 13-7 through the remainder of the contest, including going 10-10 from the free throw line down the stretch.
“We needed defensive intensity and I thought we brought it today for the full 40 minutes,” said NMU head coach Troy Mattson. “That is what we were looking for and looked more like the team we had here last year and our intensity made it hard for them to score.”
NMU finished the game shooting 51.4-percent from the floor (19-37), 55.6-percent from three-point range (10-18) and 82.6-percent (19-23) from the free throw line. Ferris State did dominate the action around the rim, outscoring NMU 24-8 in the paint and out rebounding the Wildcats 31-24.
Branch led the Bulldogs with 20 points sand nine rebounds.
The Wildcats return to action on Jan. 22 at Saginaw Valley State. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m (ET).
(Information/Photo Courtesy of NMU Athletics)