14 NCAA Tournament Appearances

2019 NCAA Regional Semi-finalist

Defense Guides Women's Basketball to 72-39 Victory

Defense Guides Women's Basketball to 72-39 Victory

MARQUETTE, Mich. – For the third time in the past four games, the Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball team held an opponent under 40 points as the Wildcats defeated University of Wisconsin Parkside 72-39 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.


All 11 players who dressed scored for the Wildcats, with senior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis.) leading the way with 12 points and a game high 10 rebounds. Sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) chipped in with 12 points. 

Senior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) added eight points while senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) posted seven. 

The defense was key as they allowed the Rangers just two points in the second quarter. The Rangers were forced into 26% shooting on the day and 25% from three-point range while NMU shot 52% from the field and 57% from behind the arc.

The 39 points allowed is the third time in the team's last four games they have held opponents to under 40 points, including the past two games.  In GLIAC action, the Wildcats are allowing just 42 points per game, holding opponents to 26% shooting. 


Youngstrom scored the first points of the game, then junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) and Smith added jumpers to give NMU a 6-0 lead lead early.  After a Parkside score, Hodell sank her first free throw but the Rangers answered with seven points to take a 9-7 lead.

Youngstrom stopped the Parkside rally with a three to take the lead, which the Rangers responded with a jumper before Dillinger gave NMU a 12-11 lead with a jumper with a little over two minutes to play in the quarter.

Parkside ended the quarter with a three-pointer and took a 14-12 lead into the second quarter.


In the second quarter, NMU quickly took a lead and used tight defense to keep Parkside to just two points and outscored the guests 18-2. 

Dillinger sank two free throws to open the quarter then added a layup to give NMU a 16-14 lead.

In the middle of the quarter, Hodell made a basket followed by a three-pointer from junior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) to increase the lead to 21-14 with less than five minutes to go in the half.

Freshman Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wis.) added a three before two Smith free throws improved the NMU lead out to 26-14.  The Rangers made two free throws but Smith answered with two jumpers to give the Wildcats a 30-16 lead at the break.


The Rangers made a three early but Youngstrom answered with a basket. The guests responded with a jumper but Honkala scored again.  Smith then followed another Parkside three to put the NMU lead at 36-24 three minutes into the quarter.

Dillinger made a jumper but the Rangers responded with a three.  Hodell followed with an old fashioned three, then added two more free throws before a three-pointer from senior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) made the score 46-27 with under three minutes left in the quarter.

Hodell added another free throw which Schultz followed with a jumper. Honkala and sophomore Amber Huebner (Marquette, Mich.) combined for three free throws to close out the quarter and gave the Wildcats a 52-27 lead as the teams entered the fourth quarter.


Smith started the final frame with a jumper then Hodell made two free throws before another Weatherly triple to push the lead to 61-30 three minutes into the quarter.

Junior CeCe Rapp (St. Charles, Ill.) added six points for the Wildcats while the Rangers managed to hit a three and a jumper before sophomore Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) made a free throw with four minutes left and made the score 68-35.

Lutz then added an and-one score before a Parkside basket. Lutz closed the NMU scoring with a free throw while the Rangers scored in the final minute as NMU took a 72-39 lead.


NMU improves to 9-2 on the season and 4-0 in GLIAC action while Parkside falls to 3-5 overall and 2-2 in the GLIAC.  The Wildcats will enjoy a week from action before closing out the nonconference portion of the schedule with Lewis University at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, December 17 in the Berry Events Center.