Lemon ‘Drops’ in 17 to lead NMU past SVSU

MARQUETTE – After trailing for the first 10-minutes of action, the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team built a comfortable lead and cruised to a 66-48 win over Saginaw Valley State in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action Thursday at the Berry Events Center.

The Wildcats improved to 14-8 with a 12-6 league record with the win while the Cardinals fell to 7-17 overall with a 2-16 league mark.

The Cardinals built a five point lead when Emily Wending hit a layup with 10:28 left in the opening frame, 14-9. The Wildcats went on a 12-2 run over the five-and a half minutes capping the run on a three-pointer from senior center Courtney Lemon and a layup by senior forward Abbey DeBruin, 21-16.

NMU held its lead through the remainder of the half taking a 29-24 lead at the break.

Senior guard Lauren Gruber led the Wildcats with nine first-half points. The Wildcats shot 45.5-percent (10-22) from the floor in the first half and held Saginaw Valley to 34.6-percent shooting.

In the second half, NMU held Saginaw Valley without a basket for the first 6:55 of action when Briana Graham converted a pair of free throws with the Wildcats in control 39-26 and ended a 10-0 run for NMU.

The Cardinals were able to cut the NMU lead back to single-digits after a 6-0 run but DeBruin converted an old-fashioned three-point play and sunk two-more free throws while Lemon drained two three-pointers to rebuild a 55-38 lead with 6:48 left in the game.

A pair of free throws from junior Kendall Martinet with 2:17 left in the contest gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the game 64-45.

“I thought we had a very good start to the second half,” said NMU head coach Troy Mattson. “Defensively they are very good but we needed to get some stops and get the ball out in the open court which we did in the second half.”

Lemon led all scorers with 17 points while Gruber added 14. The Wildcats out rebounded SVSU 38-33 led by 12 rebounds from DeBruin. Senior guard Alyssa Colla scored nine and moved into the sixth spot on NMU’s all-time scoring list.

The Wildcats return to action on Saturday at 11 a.m. when they host Hillsdale at the Berry Events Center.

(Information Courtesy of NMU Athletics)