MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University's Women's Basketball team collected a 63-55 win over Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foe Purdue University Northwest Thursday night.
Leading the Wildcats was freshman Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis./Northland Pines), who finished with 12 points. Sophomore Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) and Emily Schramek (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) both chipped in with 10 points each.
Sophomore Baleigh Delorit (Algoma, Wis.) finished with a career-high nine points, hitting three three-pointers. Junior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) posted six points with three assists while sophomore Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) led the team with nine rebounds and added six points.
Smith scored the first points of the game a minute in. After a PNW basket, she made another jumper, followed by a three-pointer. Junior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich) knocked in a three then junior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis./DC Everest) sank two free throws to put NMU up 12-5 at the 4:41 mark. The Pride scored twice to make it 12-6, but Smith answered with a layup. PNW responded with a three, which the Wildcats followed with a Smith three-pointer and a jumper by Honkala to make it 19-9. The guests scored at the end of the quarter to make it 19-11 as the teams headed into the fourth quarter.
To start the second frame, Schramek knocked in back-to-back threes to move the Wildcats ahead 25-11. Schultz later scored her first basket of the game to end a six-point run by the Pride, making it 27-17. PNW answered with another six-point rally to pull within four, 27-23 with just over five minutes to play in the quarter.
NMU responded with a basket by Dillinger and Honkala, and Delorit's first three-pointer of the game to push back ahead 34-23 with 3:21 to go in the half. The guests hit a three on their next possession, but Schramek followed with a layup. PNW sank a free throw at the end of the quarter, sending the game into the break with an NMU lead, 36-27.
Schultz opened the third quarter with a score, and PNW responded and soon made it 38-32. Schlutz then hit another layup, followed by two-straight Delorit threes to give NMU their largest lead of the game, 46-32. The Pride ended the quarter on an 8-3 run to make the score 49-40 after three quarters of play.
The PNW rally continued into the fourth quarter as they continually shrank the score and eventually made it 49-45 with 5:25 left to play. On the next NMU possession, Hodell scored in the paint, but the guest answered. Dillinger then hit two free throws, but once again the Pride answered. Dillinger and Hodell responded with back-to-back baskets, and a Schultz free throw saw NMU ahead 60-51 with 1:09 to go. PNW managed to get the score to 61-55, but didn't score again and NMU took the 63-55 victory as freshman Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) closed out the game with two free throws.
NMU improved to 10-11 on the season and 6-7 in the GLIAC, with PNW falling to 3-14 overall and 2-10 in the league. NMU returns to action Saturday and will host Grand Valley State University on Saturday.