Courtesy of NMU Athletics
MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan women’s basketball team wrapped up regular season action with a 67-59 win over rival Michigan Tech at the Berry Events Center.
The Wildcats completed the regular season with a 19-7 overall mark and a 16-6 league record. Michigan Tech fell to 19-7 overall with a 16-6 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference record.
“I thought we played really really well at the beginning of the game,” said NMU head coach Troy Mattson. “We talked about finishing plays on both ends of the court on the offensive end and defensive end. Last time we played them we didn’t finish the plays on the defensive end and what I mean by that is we were defending them well but we weren’t getting the rebound. Tonight I thought we did a really good job of finishing plays on both ends.”
Junior guard Alyssa Colla led all players with 25 points followed by junior forward Abbey DeBruin with 21 points.
After sinking a pair of free throws with 17:04 left in the game Colla became the 23rd player in NMU women’s basketball history to score 1,000 career points. Colla is currently 23rd on the all-time scoring list with 1,021 career points.
Colla finished the game shooting 7-15 from the floor and went 10-11 from the charity stripe. DeBruin shot 8-11 and went 5-6 from the free throw line.
After an early tie, the Wildcats never trailed again in the contest and took its first 16-point lead, 30-14, on a layup by senior forward Annie Rubendunst with 7:14 left in the first half.
A three-pointer by Rubendunst with 4:27 left (33-17) and a jumper by Colla with 1:20 left also gave NMU a 16-point lead, which the Wildcats maintained with a 36-20 advantage at the half.
Colla and junior forward Abbey DeBruin led all players scoring 11 first half points for the Wildcats.
NMU shot 59.1-percent (13-22) from the floor in the first half and held Michigan Tech to 25-percent shooting (7-28). The Wildcats also dominated down low outscoring the Huskies 20-4 in the paint and outrebounding MTU 22-10 including an advantage of 17-6 on the defensive boards.
In the second half, Michigan Tech was able to cut the NMU lead to single digits for a stretch, but an old-fashioned three-point play from Colla with 3:58 left in the game put NMU up 55-44. The Wildcats maintained a double-digit lead until the final minute but went 7-8 from the free throw line during that stretch to seal the victory.
NMU finished the game with a 43-25 advantage on the boards and outscored Michigan Tech 30-20 in the paint.
Senior forward Annie Rubendunst joined Colla and DeBruin in double-digit scoring with 10 points. Sophomore forward Nea Makela led the Wildcats on the boards with eight rebounds while Rubendunst and DeBruin added seven rebounds each.
The Wildcats shot 44.4-percent (20-45) from the floor in the game and 82.8-percent (24-29) from the free throw line.
Following the game NMU honored Rubendunst and senior forward Katie Becker in their annual Senior Night celebration.
NMU will await the results from the other GLIAC games for their matchup for the opening round of the GLIAC Tournament. NMU will host a first round game at the Berry Events Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday.