Colla leads Lady ‘Cats past GVSU

Courtesy of NMU Athletics

ALLENDALE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team picked up a road win at Grand Valley State 61-59 Thursday (Feb. 6) in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game.

With the win, the Wildcats improve to 13-7 overall and 10-6 in the GLIAC. The Lakers drop to 10-10 overall and 8-8 in the conference with the loss.

NMU led 27-25 at half time, after battling to four ties and eight lead changes. NMU took its largest lead of the half, 27-21, when junior forward Abbey DeBruin drained a three with 2:40 left on the clock. Junior guard Alyssa Colla led the Wildcats with eight points in the first half. The Wildcats shot 10-22 (45.5 percent) from the floor and were 4-4 (100 percent) at the free throw line.

The Wildcats led for the entire second half, starting on a jumper and two free throws by junior guard Lauren Gruber to extend the NMU lead to 31-25. NMU took a 10 point lead with 10:15 remaining on a layup from Colla, 47-37.

NMU led 59-53 with just over a minute to go in the game. Grand Valley State used three-trips to the free throw line to cut the NMU lead to 59-58 with eight seconds left on the clock.

With four seconds left, Colla was fouled and sent to the free throw line and extended the Wildcats lead to 61-59. The Lakers went back to the charity stripe making the first shot and missing the second to give NMU the win with just three seconds left on the clock.

Colla led all players with 26 points and was the only Wildcat to score in double figures. She shot 11-18 from the floor and was 4-4 from the charity stripe. Gruber led NMU with nine rebounds.

“We played really well in stretches tonight, especially in the second half,” said head coach Troy Mattson. “I thought Alyssa Colla had a really good game and Aly Matkovich gave us a big game tonight.”

The Wildcats shot 22-48 (45.8 percent) from the field, holding the Lakers to 17-52 (32.7 percent). NMU shot 12-13 (92.3 percent) at the free throw line, and out rebounded GVSU, 34-27.

Dani Crandal led the Lakers with 20 points, while Kayla Dawson had 18.

The win gives the Wildcats a series sweep over GVSU this season. NMU also defeated the Lakers, 81-66 on Jan. 16 in Marquette. The last time NMU took a season sweep against GVSU was during the 2003-04 season.

The Wildcats continue its trek downstate on Saturday (Feb. 8) to face Ferris State at 1 p.m.