MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan women's basketball team started out GLIAC play with a commanding 68-51 victory over Walsh Thursday night at the Berry Events Center.
Bre Gaspervich led the charge, scoring a season-high 26 points. She hit six shots from beyond the three-point arc during the game, including her first four attempts in a row. Darby Youngstrom posted her second-straight double double, contributing 15 points and tying her career high with 10 rebounds.
At the end of the first quarter, the Wildcats held a 15-11 lead. Gaspervich sank her second three-point shot of the quarter with 1:08 remaining, and Youngstrom made a layup, drew a foul and drained the free throw with 33 seconds left to play to give Northern Michigan that slim edge.
In the second quarter, the Cavaliers battled back. After the Wildcats extended their lead to 21-13 on a Tess Weatherly three-point shot with 8:31 to play, Walsh used a 14-8 run to draw within two, at 29-27, going into the locker room.
The third quarter proved to be the turning point in the game. Northern Michigan opened the frame with a 9-0 run, highlighted by a long Gaspervich three-point shot with 8:14 on the clock. The Cavaliers answered with a 9-0 run of their own to draw within five, at 38-36, with 6:22 remaining, but the Wildcats used a 10-0 run to regain a sizable 48-36 edge by the 2:27 mark.
During that 10-0 run, Gaspervich sank a three-point shot and Erin Honkala recorded three points on a made layup and a free throw. Northern Michigan entered the final quarter up, 54-44, after Gaspervich took a pass from Youngstrom and hit a three-point shot with 29 seconds left to play.
The Wildcats sealed the win, their sixth of the season, by doubling up the Cavaliers, 14-7, in the fourth quarter. They led by as many as 20 points during that quarter.
Gaspervich scored her 26 points by going 8-for-14 from the field, 6-for-8 from three and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. She also hauled in five rebounds, the third most on the team.
Youngstrom tied her career high with 10 rebounds. She also recorded 10 on Nov. 26 of this year against Wisconsin-Parkside and on Dec. 3, 2015 against Walsh.
As a team, Northern Michigan shot 51.0 percent from field goal range, 50.0 percent from three and 58.8 percent from the charity stripe. They scored 27 points off of turnovers and 30 in the paint.
The Wildcats travel to Ohio next week, facing Ohio Dominican (Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m.) and Lake Erie (Dec. 10, 1 p.m.).