CANTON, Ohio – Northern Michigan University women’s basketball (3-2, 1-1 GLIAC) was able to erase a six-point deficit at halftime, but their comeback effort fell short in a 52-48 loss at Malone. The Pioneers were able to force the Wildcats to commit 18 turnovers and outscored NMU 13-3 in points off turnovers.
Malone was able to use a 6-0 run following a layup from senior center Courtney Lemon to take their first comfortable lead of the game at 14-6 with 8:02 remaining in the half. The Pioneers were able to maintain their lead the remainder of the opening half to a half time score of 25-19.
Senior forward Abbey DeBruin and Lemon paced the Wildcat offense in the first half scoring seven points apiece as NMU shot 6-26 (.231) from the field.
The opening minutes of the second half saw Malone continue to hold onto the lead at a 30-23 advantage with 17:49 left in the game. NMU then scored the next 10 points of the contest highlighted by three-point baskets from sophomore Bre Gaspervich and senior guard Alyssa Colla. The 10-0 run gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 33-30 with 15:04 left to play.
The game then turned into a see-saw battle with four ties at 33, 35, 37 and 40. The Pioneers were then able to regain a comfortable lead with a 7-1 run giving them the 47-41 advantage with 4:50 left on the clock.
Colla would score four of the next seven Wildcat points to cut the lead down to two at 50-48 with 12 seconds in the game, but a pair of Malone free throws and a late NMU turnover put the final score at 52-48.
The Wildcats shot 9-23 (.391) in the second half, while their defense held Malone to 9-31 (.290) from the field in the final frame.
Lemon finished the game with 10 points and 11 rebounds for her second straight double-double, third career. Colla and senior guard Lauren Gruber each finished with double-digit points with 10 apiece.
Northern Michigan returns home next weekend for a pair of GLIAC games when they take on Findlay Saturday, December 13th at 1 p.m. and Wayne State Monday, December 15th at 3 p.m.
(Information/Photo Courtesy of NMU Athletics)