RENSSELAER, Ind. — The Northern Michigan women's basketball team suffered a 60-44 loss to host Saint Joseph's at the Puma Thanksgiving Basketball Classic Friday afternoon.
The third quarter proved to be the difference in the game, as the Pumas outscored the Wildcats by a 21-7 margin to build a 47-30 advantage. While Northern Michigan began to battle back in the fourth quarter, time wasn't on its side.
At the end of the first quarter, the Wildcats led, 14-10. Bre Gaspervich contributed six of Northern Michigan's points, draining a layup, jumper and two free throws.
In the second quarter, Saint Joseph's tied the game at 14 with 8:23 remaining and then took a 16-14 edge on its next possession. But Northern Michigan responded, regaining a 19-16 advantage with 6:31 remaining on a Chloe Tompkins three-point shot and a Darby Youngstrom layup.
But the Pumas scored a three-point shot of their own with 6:13 on the clock to tie the game and then took a 21-19 advantage on a jumper after they maintained possession with an offensive rebound.
With 29 seconds left in the half, a Rolanda Curington jumper gave Saint Joesph's a 26-20 lead. But Gaspervich answered with a long three-point shot with just three seconds left to pull the Wildcats within one three-point shot going into the locker room.
The Pumas began to take control of the game in the final 4:24 of the third quarter, holding Northern Michigan pointless while scoring 10 points of their own. The Wildcats ultimately outscored Saint Joseph's, 14-13, in the final frame but couldn't overcome the deficit built in the third quarter.
Gaspervich led all players with 19 points. She also tied for second on Northern Michigan with four boards. Youngstrom led the Wildcats with five rebounds.
The teams were even in points in the paint (18) and fast break points (4). Northern Michigan shot 38.1 percent from the field and just 18.8 from beyond the three-point arc. The Pumas shot 43.8 percent from three-point range.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 4-2. They continue play in the Puma Thanksgiving Basketball Classic tomorrow, taking on Wisconsin-Parkside at 2 p.m.