Lady Cats advance to GLIAC Championship game

Courtesy of NMU Athletics

DETROIT, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team advanced to the Championship game of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Tournament with a 59-54 win over No. 3-seeded Michigan Tech at the Matthaei Center in Detroit.

NMU will face No. 5-seeded Malone on Sunday in the GLIAC Championship game at 2:07 p.m. at the Matthaei Center on the campus of Wayne State University. The game will be televised on Comcast Xfinity Channel 900 and video streamed through while 100.3 FM the Point will provide the radio broadcast.

The Wildcats improved to 20-7 on the season with the win while Michigan Tech fell to 19-8 overall.

Senior forward Annie Rubendunst led the Wildcats with 14 points followed by junior guard Alyssa Colla and freshman guard Bre Gaspervich with 12 points each.

NMU led 32-25 at the half sparked by eight first-half points off the bench from Gaspervich. The Wildcats shot 41.7% from the floor in the first half connecting on 10-24 attempts while holding Michigan Tech to 8-30 (26.7%) from the field.

A three-pointer by Rubendunst with 5:02 left in the first half gave NMU it’s largest lead of the half 29-16.

The Wildcats also connected on 6-13 from three-point range and 6-8 from the charity stripe in the first. The Huskies outrebounded NMU 25-17 in the first half and outscored the Wildcats 10-2 in the paint.

In the second, Rubendunst converted two layups to put NMU up 43-31 with 13:00 remaining in the contest. Michigan Tech took the lead with 1:14 left in the game, 54-53 but went scoreless the remainder of the game.

Gaspervich hit a layup with just over a minute to go before sinking a pair of free throws with 16-seconds left on the clock. Colla closed the game with two free throws with just over a second left to seal the victory for NMU.

“A great win for our team, we had to show a lot of toughness,” said NMU head coach Troy Mattson. “I thought we did a really good job with our bench coming in and making plays they kept us in the game. We came out in the second half and played good again from the start. I can’t say enough about this group and their toughness.”

Michigan Tech outrebounded the Wildcats 43-32 in the contest and outscored NMU 20-14 in the paint. The Wildcats shot 40.9% from the floor (18-44) 42.1% from three-point range (42.1) and 78.9% from the free throw line (15-19).

Junior guard Lauren Gruber led NMU with nine rebounds followed by Colla with seven.

Danielle Blake led the Huskies with 14 points while Morgan Anderson came off the bench to score 11.

NMU returns to the GLIAC Championship game for the first time since 2010 and will look to capture their first GLIAC Tournament Championship since 2000.