HAMMOND, Ind. – The Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball Team started the game on a 17-2 run and never looked back as they took an 80-52 victory over Purdue University Northwest in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.
The win is their largest regular season victory since NMU defeated Finlandia College by 62 points during the 2013-14 season. It's their largest win over an NCAA Division II opponent since they defeated Lake Erie College, 107-75, during the 2010-11 season.
Junior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis./DC Everest) led the Wildcats with 13 points and collected eight rebounds. Freshman Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis./Northland Pines) also finished with 13 points. Junior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) chipped in with 11 points and three steals, while junior Emily Schramek (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) added nine points.
Sophomore Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) posted eight points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis./Mineral Point) tallied eight points and tied Smith for the team's lead with three assists.
To start the game, Smith scored first, then the Pride answered to tie the game at 2-2 less than a minute in. The Wildcats proceeded to score 15-straight points before a PNW free throw stopped the rally. Schultz answered the free throw with a jumper, but two baskets by the hosts brought the NMU lead to 19-7. Smith then hit a jumper and a layup to close out the quarter for a 23-7 Wildcat lead.
Purdue Northwest managed to get the lead down to 14 points in the second quarter, but NMU pushed the lead back to 22 in the middle of the quarter and eventually took a 39-21 lead into the half.
In the second half, NMU proved too much for the Pride as the lead would stay over 20 points throughout the remainder of the game until the Wildcats took the 80-52 victory. The 80 points is the most scored in a game by NMU since November 26 of last season, when they scored 81 points in an 81-69 victory over University of Wisconsin-Parkside during the Puma Thanksgiving Classic.
NMU finished the night shooting 51% from the field and held the Pride to just 32%. As a team, they finished with nine steals and seven blocks. Hodell and junior Sydney Dillinger (Howell, Mich.) posted two blocks each.
The Wildcats improved to 6-4 after the victory and are 2-1 in league play, while PNW fell to 1-6, 1-2 in the GLIAC. NMU returns to action Saturday and will take on Grand Valley State University in another GLIAC Clash.