Colla leads NMU past rival Lake State

MARQUETTE – A career-high 33 points from senior guard Alyssa Colla helped lead the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team pick up a 69-64 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference win over Lake Superior State in a contest that had 14 different lead changes Thursday at the Berry Events Center.

Colla went 11-19 from the floor, 4-6 from three-point range and 7-8 from the free throw line as NMU improved to 11-6 overall with a 9-4 GLIAC record. LSSU fell to 7-10 overall with a 3-10 league mark.

After keeping the game to within one possession through most of the first half, the Lakers outscored NMU 11-2 in the final 4:16 of the opening half to take a 32-26 lead to the locker room at the half. The Wildcats shot 43.5-percent in the opening frame connecting on 10-23 attempts while LSSU went 15-25 for a 60-percent shooting stat.

Lake Superior forced NMU into nine first-half turnovers and converted those into 12 points while they also outscored NMU 20-12 in the paint. NMU outrebounded the Lakers in the first half 13-9.

Colla led all players with 12 points in the first half while Kandace Crittendon had 10 for the Lakers.

A pair of free throws from Colla with 10:12 left in the game tied the contest for the final time at 46-46 before sophomore guard Bre Gaspervich drained a three-pointer at 8:17 for a 49-46 lead which they never relinquished.

A three-pointer by Colla with 7:01 left in the game gave the Wildcats a 54-46 lead, which was their biggest of the night.

LSSU was able to cut the game to two-points twice through the final seven-minutes of action but NMU hit its free throws down the stretch.

Senior guard Lauren Gruber was the only other Wildcat to score in double-digits adding 13 on 5-6 shooting from the floor, 1-1 shooting from three-point range and 2-2 from the charity stripe.

NMU finished the game shooting 47.1-percent from the floor connecting on 24-51 attempts. Lake Superior State went 56.3-percent from the floor connecting on 27-46.

NMU out rebounded LSSU 29-20 in the outing including a 9-3 advantage on the offensive boards. Senior forward Courtney Lemon led the Wildcats with eight rebounds, while also adding eight points.

NMU returns to action on Saturday hosting Northwood at 11 a.m. at the Berry Events Center.

(Information/Photo Courtesy of NMU Athletics)