Wildcats Stay Unbeaten in GLIAC Play With Victory at Wayne State

Wildcats Stay Unbeaten in GLIAC Play With Victory at Wayne State

DETROIT, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball visited Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foe Wayne State in their first game of 2019 and remain unbeaten in the conference after a 69-56 victory over the Warriors.

  STAT LEADERS

Junior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) paced the Wildcats with a double-double, posting a season-high 14 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) added 13 points and seven rebounds while sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) dished out a career-high six assists. Senior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis.) notched four blocked shots. 

The team's defense again proved strong as they held Wayne State to just 27% from behind the arc.

  GETTING STARTED

Senior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) started the scoring with a layup and Schultz hit a jumper after two Warrior baskets to make it 4-0 three minutes into the game. Hodell and Honkala each added a bucket to give NMU an 8-4 lead with 5:56 to play.   

The Warriors answered to tie it before Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wis.) made a layup. The hosts responded with a three for their first lead of the game at the 2:46 mark. Smith followed with a three-pointer of her own with two minutes to go in the first quarter. WSU tied it one more time but Smith made a layup at the one-minute mark and gave NMU a 15-13 lead after the first ten minutes.

 THE SECOND QUARTER

Wayne State scored first in the second quarter but Hodell answered with a layup two minutes in. The Warriors then scored four points and took a 19-17 lead before Youngstrom made a free throw then Hodell made another layup and put NMU back on top 20-19 with 4:43 left in the half.

Another three from WSU gave the hosts a lead but Schultz hit a layup to tie it again with 3:15 on the clock. Honkala then added a free throw a minute later followed by a Youngstrom three and put NMU ahead 25-22 with 1:30 to go in the half.  The Warriors answered with a three-pointer to close out the half and the teams entered the half tied at 25-25.

 PULLING AHEAD

Mueller hit a three to open the second half. After a basket from WSU, Smith converted a three-point play to make it 31-27 less than three minutes into the half. A three and a layup from the hosts moved the Warriors up 32-31 but Schultz sank two free throws before sophomore Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) made a three and gave NMU a 36-32 lead with 5:55 on the clock.

Lutz then hit two free throws after two from WSU, but Wayne State hit a three to pull within one. Hodell answered with two free throws but another Warrior three tied it at 40-40 with four minutes to play in the quarter.

The Wildcats then rallied and closed out the third quarter on a 13-2 rally. Lutz started the run with two free throws then Honkala converted an old fashioned three-pointer. Smith added a layup then Honkala again converted the three-point play to make it 50-40 with 1:47 to go. Honkala added another free throw and followed to free throws from the Warriors with a layup and made the score 53-42 at the end of the third quarter. 

 CLOSE IT OUT

Wayne State scored a layup to open the final quarter before Schultz made a layup. After another WSU jumper, Schultz hit a three and layup and Youngstrom made a layup  and pushed the NMU lead up to 62-46 with 6:37 to play.

WSU responded with four points but senior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) hit a three and made it 65-50 with 5:28 to play. Smith added a layup along with Honkala to close out the game while the WSU comeback attempt fell short and NMU captured the 69-56 victory.

  UP NEXT

NMU improves to 10-3 on the season and remain unbeated, 5-0, in the GLIAC. The Wildcats will now head to Ashland University to take on the defending GLIAC Champion and National Runner Up Eagles Saturday afternoon.