Courtesy of NMU Athletics
NMU picked up its first win of 2013 with a 68-63 victory over the Lake Erie College Storm on Saturday (Jan. 5) from the Berry Events Center. NMU is now 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The game was a tale of two halves as the Wildcats outscored the Storm 38-22 in the first half for a 16-point lead. LEC, seeking its first conference win, used ball pressure to generate 16 second half turnovers by NMU and scored 41 points, outscoring the Cats by 11.
NMU buried a jumper and a layup to boost its halftime lead to 20 early (19:17) in the second half. The Storm then went on a 12-0 run to cut the lead to eight with 13:46 to go.
Lake Erie (2-9, 0-8 GLIAC) continued to chip away and got the game down to three (66-63) with 24 seconds left but four free throws by sophomore guard Lauren Gruber sealed the win for NMU.
Freshman forward Nea Makela tallied a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds to lead the Cats. Gruber finished with 12 points while sophomore guard Alyssa Colla added nine points and four assists. Junior forward Brooke Coenen had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists.
NMU shot 51.3 percent from the floor, including 40 percent (6-of-15) from the three-point line. The Cats dominated the boards 35-17 and made 22-of-25 (88 percent) from the charity stripe.
Ashar Harris had a game-high 25 points to lead the Storm. Kaeding Skelton was also in double figures with 17.
LEC shot 46.9 percent from the field and was 3-for-7 from beyond the arc.
Northern travels downstate for a pair of GLIAC games at Grand Valley State and Ferris State next weekend.