Gruber leads NMU women past Walsh

NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Northern Michigan University women’s basketball (3-1, 1-0 GLIAC) started Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference play with a 70-65 victory over Walsh. The Wildcats shot 27-64 (.422) from the field in the game and outscored the Cavaliers 42-28 in the paint.

The Cavaliers would take the lead at the opening tip and hold onto the lead for the majority of the first half. Walsh found themselves ahead 20-14 with 6:28 left in the half when a layup from senior guard Lauren Gruber started a 14-3 run that gave NMU a 28-21 advantage with 2:22 remaining on the clock. Back-to-back three-pointers from senior forward Courtney Lemon and Gruber gave the Wildcats a lead that they wouldn’t vanquish the remainder of the game. The Cavaliers bounced back and scored the final four points of the half to set the score at 28-25.

Lemon led all players in scoring with 11 points and six rebounds at the half as NMU shot 13-32 (.406) in the opening frame. The Wildcat defense held Walsh to 9-31 (.290) shooting from the field.

Northern Michigan came out of the locker room shooting well as senior guard Alyssa Colla scored four points to guide NMU to an 8-2 run in the opening minutes of the half to give the Wildcats a 36-27 lead. The largest lead for the Wildcats would come at the 14:18 mark when NMU found themselves ahead by nine with a score of 43-34. From there, the Cavaliers attempted to come from behind but timely shooting from NMU prevented Walsh from going on any lengthy runs.

Walsh cut the deficit down to two at a 64-62 NMU lead with only 21 seconds in the contest, but Colla and Gruber would ice the game shooting a combined 6-6 from the charity stripe to close out the game at 70-65.

Four of the NMU starters finished the game scoring double-figures led by Gruber who had a game-high 23. Lemon recorded her second career double-double in the victory with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Colla chipped in 12 points, while senior forward Abbey DeBruin added 10 to round out the top scorers for NMU.

Northern Michigan closes out the weekend at Malone Saturday, Dec. 6 with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m.

(Information/Photo Courtesy of NMU Athletics)