Lady Wildcats defeat Ferris State

Courtesy of NMU Athletics

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team topped Ferris State 52-49 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference action Saturday.

The Wildcats improve to 14-7 overall with an 11-6 league record while Ferris State fell to 6-12 overall with a 6-10 GLIAC mark.

Junior guard Lauren Gruber led NMU with 14 points followed by junior guard Alyssa Colla with 12.

“We had to play with a lot of toughness today,” said NMU head coach Troy Mattson. “We didn’t shoot really well especially early on but we played incredible defense. I thought it showed a lot of toughness to hold them to 49 points on their home court.”

Northern Michigan trailed 26-23 at the half, but used an 11-1 run to start the second half and take the lead. Senior forward Annie Rubendunst tied the game on a three-pointer just 19-seconds into the second half 26-26.

Gruber then hit a three with 16:24 to go in the game to put NMU up 29-26. Colla converted a layup and junior center Courtney Lemon drained a three to cap the run with just under 15-mintues to go.

A pair of free throws by Gruber with 15-seconds left in the game set the final tally. The Bulldogs had two final chances to tie the game, but junior forward Abbey DeBruin blocked a three-point attempt from Ferris State’s Dena Droste with seven-seconds left which left the Bulldogs with only a desperation three by Sarah Deshone as time expired.

NMU shot 38.3-percent from the floor connecting on 18-47 of their attempts and held Ferris State to just 30.5-percent from the field (18-59).

The Wildcats outrebounded Ferris State 40-36 and outscored the Bulldogs in the paint 22-20. Gruber and sophomore forward Nea Makela led the Wildcats with six rebounds each.

Droste led the Bulldogs with 14 points followed by Christina Branch who added 13.

NMU returns home to face Saginaw Valley State at 5:30 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 13).