RENSSELAER, Ind. — The Northern Michigan women's basketball team rebounded with an 81-69 victory over Wisconsin-Parkside at the Puma Thanksgiving Basketball Classic Saturday afternoon.
With 7:23 remaining in regulation, the Wildcats held a slim 52-50 lead. They ultimately outscored the Rangers, 29-19, the rest of the way to move to 5-2 on the season.
Wisconsin-Parkside pulled within four points at the 5:40 mark of the fourth quarter, but Northern Michigan responded with an 8-2 run and then drained 15 free throws the rest of the way to ice the game.
In the first quarter, the Rangers raced out to an 11-2 lead by the 5:01 mark. The Wildcats answered with a 9-0 run, highlighted by a Tess Weatherly three-point shot, to tie the game with 2:08 to play in the frame. But Wisconsin-Parkside regrouped and extended its lead up to 20-14 going into the second quarter.
By 5:43 of the second quarter, the Rangers led, 26-15. The Wildcats clawed back into the game, using a 13-0 run to take a 28-26 advantage with 2:10 to play. That run was highlighted by three Erin Honkala layups.
The teams traded points the rest of the way, and Wisconsin-Parkside entered the half ahead, 31-30.
In the third quarter, Northern Michigan built a 50-45 lead with 1:48 remaining, but Blair Arthur sank a three-point shot with 1:08 to play to cut the Rangers' deficit to two.
Bre Gaspervich led all players with 18 points. Darby Youngstrom had a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Chloe Tompkins (12) and Honkala (12) also reached the double digits in points.
Northern Michigan shot 43.8 percent from the field, 41.7 from three and 81.0 from the charity stripe.
The Wildcats begin GLIAC play on Dec. 1 by facing Walsh at the Berry Events Center at 6 p.m.