MARQUETTE, Mich. – Junior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) hit a free throw with two seconds remaining, and junior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) scored a career-high to help put the Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball team past Wayne State University 67-66.
NMU put four players in double figures in the team's final home game of the season. Freshman Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis./Northland Pines) led the team with 19 points while Weatherly used a career-high five three-pointers to score her new career-high of 15 points. Sophomore Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) added 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Dillinger posted 10 points.
Weatherly gave NMU the first points of the game, hitting a three on the first possession. Smith then hit a jumper, followed by a Schultz layup to put the Wildcats ahead 7-0 two minutes into the game. The Warriors finally scored on their next possession, but Smith made another layup to make it 9-2. WSU chipped away with four points but Weatherly hit another three, and junior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis./DC Everest) made a jumper to put NMU ahead 14-6 halfway through the opening frame.
The teams traded baskets, then traded threes as Dillinger answered a Wayne St. three-pointer to move the score to a 19-11 NMU lead. The Warriors followed with a free throw and then a three-pointer, which Smith answered with a three-point play to make the score 22-15 after the first quarter.
WSU tied the game to open the second quarter, making it 22-22 three minutes in. Hodell then sank two free throws and Weatherly hit her third three of the night to get NMU back on top. Dillinger made a layup before WSU answered, but two free throws by sophomore Bailey Denis (De Pere, Wis.) kept it 31-26 with 4:37 to go until halftime.
Smith made a layup and Schultz converted an old-fashioned three-pointer, then Weatherly hit her fourth three to make the score 39-26 with 2:31 left in the half. Both teams sank two free throws, with Schultz scoring for NMU, to end the half at 41-28.
WSU chipped away at the NMU lead and made it 43-37 less than two minutes into the second half. Smith made a layup and free throw, but five points from the Warriors made it 46-42 with less than five minutes in the third quarter. Dillinger responded with a layup, and the teams then continued to trade points, with Hodell making two free throws and junior Emily Schramek (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) hitting a three, through the next several minutes. Schultz ended the quarter with two more NMU free throws and the Wildcats took a 55-47 lead enter the fourth quarter.
Weatherly hit her fifth three of the game to open the final quarter, then Smith sank two free throws to answer a WSU three. After a layup by the Warriors, Smith sank two more free throws to make the score 61-52 with 8:45 to go.
The guests made a layup, and Schramek then hit a free throw on the next NMU possession. The Warriors responded with three free throws to make the score 62-57 with 6:44 to play. They then hit two more free throws and a three-pointer to tie the game at 62-62 with 3:30 left in the game.
With less than two minutes to play, Dillinger sank two free throws to put NMU ahead 64-62, but a layup and a jumper by WSU gave the Warriors a 66-64 lead with less than a minute to play. After a time out, Schultz tied the game with 35 seconds remaining.
WSU called timeout, but their layup attempt with seven seconds remaining missed and NMU called timeout after Schramek secured the rebound. After a Wildcat timeout to advance the ball, Dillinger drove right from the top of the key and was fouled going in for the layup.
With the pressure on, Dillinger sank the go-ahead layup with two seconds remaining. The Warriors then called timeout to advance the ball. However, the inbound pass was tipped and time ran out before the ball was secured by either team, giving NMU a 67-66 victory.
With the win, NMU improved to 15-13 on the season and 11-9 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Wayne St. fell to 19-7 overall and 14-6 in the league. The Wildcats will now travel to Grand Valley State University Wednesday night to take on the Lakers in the GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals.