MIDLAND, Mich. — Northwood pulled out a 55-53 win over the Northern Michigan women's basketball team Saturday afternoon at Riepma Arena.
With 2:22 remaining in regulation, a pair of Taylor Hodell free throws gave the Wildcats a 51-50 lead. Zakiya Wells answered with a three-point shot on the Timberwolves' next possession, and Lindsay Orwat forced a steal to get them the ball right back. Emily Kutch then drained a layup to put Northwood up, 55-51, with 1:23 left on the clock.
After Northern Michigan called a timeout, Bre Gaspervich sank a layup to make the score 55-53. That proved to be game's final basket, as the Wildcats had a possession cut short by a steal and then missed the equalizing jump shot at the buzzer.
The game was tight throughout, featuring 12 ties and 14 lead changes. The teams were neck and neck in the first quarter; with 24 seconds remaining, Maddy Seeley drained a three-point shot to give the Timberwolves a 15-12 edge at the end of one.
From the 5:24 to the 1:28 mark of the second quarter, the Wildcats strung together an 8-0 run to turn a 22-18 deficit into a 26-22 edge. They only went into the locker room with a 26-25 advantage as Seeley hit another three-point shot 42 seconds before the end of the half.
Neither team could build any meaningful separation in the third quarter, and Northern Michigan entered the final frame up, 44-42, after Gaspervich beat the buzzer with a layup.
The fourth quarter opened with the teams trading baskets. The final three minutes ultimately decided the game.
Youngstrom posted game-high totals in both points (18) and rebounds (9). Her 18 points matched her season-best total, which is one shy of her career high.
Northern Michigan shot 40.0 percent from the floor, 18.2 from three and 55.0 from the charity stripe. The Wildcats outscored the Timberwolves in the paint, 34-22, and held a 40-27 advantage in rebounds. Northwood took care of the ball during the game, only giving up two steals.
Northern Michigan, now 15-8 (10-6 GLIAC), next takes on Saginaw Valley State and Wayne State in its final home games of the 2016-17 campaign. Free tickets can be picked up at Jill Leonard State Farm (for Feb. 9's game) and Art Van Furniture (for Feb. 11's game).