ALLENDALE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan women's basketball team opened the regular season with a 59-56 win over Truman State at the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge Friday evening at the GVSU Fieldhouse.
The Bulldogs opened a 7-4 lead in the first quarter, but Darby Youngstrom sank a three pointer at 9:47 in the second quarter to even the score. Truman State seized a 13-10 lead, but Bre Gaspervich tied the game with a three pointer at 5:38. The teams traded points until the Bulldogs pulled away to take a 24-20 lead into halftime.
Youngstrom's triple at 8:10 in the third quarter pulled the Wildcats within one point, at 24-23. Later, Northern Michigan tied the game, at 30-30, when Tess Weatherly hit a triple at 5:30.
The Wildcats pulled ahead with a 6-3 run, highlighted by an Emily Schramek triple with 3:54 remaining in the quarter. Northern Michigan took a 48-36 lead into the final frame after a Gaspervich jumper with two seconds remaining.
The Wildcats opened the fourth quarter with a Youngstrom layup at 9:21 to extend their lead to 50-36. The Bulldogs rallied to pull within two points, at 58-56, with six seconds remaining, but Gaspervich sank a free throw to ice the game.
Truman State is one of the stronger teams in the GLVC, having reached the 20-win plateau three of the past four seasons.
Youngstrom (15) and Erin Honkala (13) were the top point producers. Youngstrom and Weatherly tied for the team lead with eight rebounds.
Honkala collected three steals while Gaspervich posted five assists.
The Wildcats shot 34.9 percent from the floor and 23.1 percent from beyond the three point arc. They recorded 16 points off of turnovers and five off of offensive rebounds.
Northern Michigan concludes play in the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge tomorrow, facing Quincy at 1 p.m.