Courtesy of NMU Athletics
MARQUETTE, Mich. – For the second year in a row and fourth time in the last five years, the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team is in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. The Wildcats are the No. 8 seed and travel to Ohio to take on top-seeded Ashland, also for the second year in a row. Game time is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the GLIAC Quarterfinal.
NMU finished the regular season 13-13 overall and 10-12 in conference play. The ‘Cats have won two of their last three after falling in the regular season finale at Michigan Tech on Saturday.
Sophomore guards Alyssa Colla and Lauren Gruber lead the offensive charge for the Green and Gold. Colla averages 13.1 points per game and Gruber is putting up 11.7. Freshman forward Nea Makela (8.9) and sophomore forward Abbey DeBruin (7.6) also tally over seven points per game.
Five Wildcats average over four rebounds per game, led by Makela with 6.1. NMU is ninth in the nation in rebound margin 8.2. Northern is also in the top 100 in free throw percentage (63rd/72.6 percent) and field goal percentage (69th/41.3 percent).
Ashland enters postseason with a 28-1 overall record and 21-1 mark in conference play. The lone loss was to Findlay on Feb. 14. The Eagles are on a four-game winning streak and are led by All-American Kari Daugherty. She averages 22.1 points and 14 rebounds per game. Daiva Gerbac (14.3), Taylor Woods (11.8) and Alyssa Miller (10.8) also score in double figures for the Eagles.
The two teams met on Jan. 3 at the Berry Events Center when No. 1-ranked Ashland defeated NMU 63-46 behind Daugherty’s 27 points and 15 rebounds. Gerbac added 18. Northern was led by Gruber with 12 points and Makela with eight.
In last season’s GLIAC Quarterfinal, Chelsea Lyons buried 29 points in a losing effort as Ashland won 76-56. The Eagles had four players in double figures and shot 51 percent.
NMU leads the all-time series 16-9 and is 4-6 in the last 10 meetings.
Other GLIAC Quarterfinal matchups are No. 2 Findlay hosting No. 7 Saginaw Valley State, No. 3 Wayne State hosting No. 6 Ferris State and No. 4 Michigan Tech hosting No. 5 Grand Valley State. All games are being played on Wednesday.
The winners advance to the semifinals on Saturday with the GLIAC Tournament Championship set for Sunday. The highest remaining seed after Wednesday will host the semifinals and championship.
100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio voice of the NMU Wildcats, will broadcast the game.