MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University's Women's Basketball Team scored 25 points in the first quarter on the way to a 71-59 win over Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foe Tiffin University.
Junior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) aided the effort with nine points and a career-high four steals. Sophomore Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) also posted nine points and finished with a team-high seven rebounds.
The Dragons scored first but a Smith three-pointer put NMU up 3-2. Two free throws by Tiffin gave them back the lead, but junior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) hit a three to put NMU up 6-4. On their next possession, Hodell made a layup to put NMU ahead 8-4 and a Honkala free throw was followed by another Wildcat three, this time by Dillinger. Tiffin answered with a three-pointer of their own to make the NMU lead 12-6 at the media timeout.
Hodell came out of the timeout with two free throws, but Tiffin responded with a jumper to make it 14-11. Redshirt freshman Terese Ledy (Marquette, Mich.) answered with a layup, which sophomore Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) followed with another NMU three-pointer to move the team ahead 19-11. The guests added another layup, but freshman Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) knocked in two free throws followed by layups by Schultz and Smith to put the Wildcats ahead 25-13 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Hodell put NMU up 13, 29-16 with 7:09 to go, but the Dragons knocked the lead back down to nine, 29-20 a little over a minute later. Ledy then hit a three, and Lutz answered a TU layup with another three to put NMU back up 35-22 with 2:35 left before halftime.
After a free throw by the guests, Smith added another layup to give NMU their largest lead of the half, 37-23, with 1:51 until the break. However, Tiffin finished the half on a 7-0 run to make the score 37-30 heading into halftime.
Dillinger opened the second half with a three-pointer, but Tiffin gradually cut into the lead, pulling within 44-38 at the 6:01 mark. The team's continued to trade baskets throughout the quarter, with NMU holding a 54-47 advantage as the teams entered the final frame.
Hodell began the last quarter with a layup, and Weatherly added two free throws. This time Tiffin answered with a 6-0 run and narrowed the NMU lead to just 58-53 with just under seven minutes to go. The Wildcats responded with seven-straight points, as Honkala made a layup, followed by a Schultz jumper, another layup by Smith and a Honkala free throw to go back up 64-53. Tiffin managed to get their deficit under 10 points once, but NMU held on for the 71-59 victory.
With the win, the Wildcats improved to 7-7 on the season and 3-3 in the league. Tiffin fell to 5-9 overall and 1-5 in the GLIAC. NMU returns to action Saturday as they host #1 Ashland University in the Berry Events Center on Youth Sports Day, hosted by Wells Fargo.