NMU Women's B-Ball wins exhibition opener

Courtesy of NMU Athletics

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team opened the 2012-13 season with an exhibition win on Sunday (Oct. 28) against Madonna University from the Berry Events Center.  The ‘Cats defeated the Crusaders, 58-53 in a defensively battled game.

NMU took the lead from the start on a three point shot by sophomore Maria Almquist in the opening seconds of the game. The Crusaders led only once during the first half on a three point shot by Michelle Lindsey to put Madonna up by one with 13 minutes remaining. However, that wouldn’t be enough, after exchanging 16 fouls between the two teams in the opening half, NMU led 25-14 at the break.

In the second half, the ‘Cats led by as much as 11 in the opening minutes. The lead was quickly cut with 15 minutes to go in the game when Madonna’s Shantelle Herring drove into the lane for the made layup, and was fouled. Her free throw shot tied the game at 31. From there, the ‘Cats led by only a three point margin, and the Crusaders didn’t take the lead for the rest of the game.

With a tied game at 53 with 2:34 to go in the game, a made field goal by freshman Anna Liewen gave NMU its clinching lead of the game. The Crusaders were fouled twice in the last minute, sending the ‘Cats to the free throw line to sink three free shots for the victory.

Sophomore Alyssa Colla led all scorers with 16 points: six field goals, two from behind the arc and was 2-for-4 from the charity stripe. Liewen finished the game with 14 points, sophomore Lauren Gruber closed out the double digits with 10. The ‘Cats finished 17-for-27 from the free throw line, and had 22 personal fouls.

For the Crusaders, Kaylee McGrath led the way with 15 total points, with Lindsey right behind tallying 14. Rachel Melcher added 12. Madonna ended the afternoon shooting 17-for-31 at the line, and 21 personal fouls.

The ‘Cats continue exhibition play at the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Saturday (Nov. 3) at 3 p.m. NMU will return home on Saturday, Nov. 10 to take on Davenport University at 6 p.m.