NMU rally falls short vs. Eagles

MARQUETTE, Mich. — Northern Michigan University senior guard Alyssa Colla scored the Wildcats first 10-points en route to a game-high 27, but a late Wildcats rally fell short as Ashland picked up a 72-66 women’s basketball win at the Berry Events Center Thursday.

The loss drops NMU to 6-5 overall with a  league record of 4-3. Ashland won its seventh-straight outing improving to 9-4 with a 5-2 GLIAC mark.

Ashland came out of the gates and took a 17-point lead in the first half when McKenzie Miller hit a three-pointer with just under 10-minutes left in the half, 23-6. The Eagles would maintain a double-digit lead the rest of the first half taking a 39-27 lead at the break.

The Wildcats shot 40.9-percent in the opening frame sinking 9-22 from the field. Ashland went 16-29 and 5-9 from three-point range. Colla led all players with 11 first-half points while senior forward Abbey DeBruin added 10 points.

A three-pointer by Ashland’s Taylor Woods with 11:20 left in the game gave the Eagles their largest lead of the contest at 56-37, but the Wildcats outscored Ashland 29-16 in the final 10-minutes of action.

NMU outscored Ashland 39-33 in the second half and got within four of the Eagles when sophomore guard Bre Gaspervich hit a three-pointer with just 10-seconds remaining, 70-66.

“When you come out flat in your own gym it is upsetting,” said NMU assistant coach Mariah Dunham. “It was unfortunate that our start was so slow, I remember saying at halftime we are going to have this conversation after the game, if we would started faster the game could have been a lot different. But Ashland is a good team and they are coached by a great coach.”

Colla led three Wildcats in double-digit scoring. DeBruin chipped in 19 while Gaspervich had 12. NMU out rebounded Ashland 39-23 including an advantage of 12-3 on the offensive boards. The Wildcats turned those 12 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points.

DeBruin and junior forward Nea Makela led all players with eight rebounds each.

NMU shot 40-percent for the contest connecting on 22-55 from the field. NMU also went 4-15 from three-point range and 18-21 from the charity stripe.

The Wildcats return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday hosting Lake Erie at the Berry Events Center.

(Information/Photo Courtesy of NMU Athletics)