Second Half Surge Gives Wildcats 69-61 Victory

Second Half Surge Gives Wildcats 69-61 Victory

MARQUETTE, Mich. – A strong second half from the Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball team led to a 69-61 victory over Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference foe Davenport University.

  STAT LEADERS

The Wildcats were led by sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.), who led the way with 16 points and also grabbed nine rebounds.

Junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) added 15 points while seniors Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) and Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) both made four three-pointers for 12 points each. Dillinger's four from behind the arc are a career-high.

Senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) dished out a career-high eight assists and notched a team-best 10 rebounds.

  THE FIRST QUARTER

Dillinger started the game with a three before Schultz made a jumper. The Panthers answered with a three of their own, but Dillinger made another three to give NMU an 8-3 lead at the 5:30 mark.

Davenport rallied back and took a lead but responded with two buckets to make it 12-10 with a minute left.  However, DU would end the quarter with six points to take a 16-12 lead after the first quarter.  

  FINISHING THE HALF

The Panthers pushed out to a 21-14 lead, with Smith scoring for the Wildcats to start the second quarter. Schultz then scored two baskets but DU followed with five points. Weatherly stopped the quick run with a three but Davenport answered to go ahead 32-21. Schlutz made a jumper but the Panthers closed out the half with a three to take a 35-21 lead into halftime.

 MAKING A COMEBACK

After a DU score made it 38-23 to start the second half, Weatherly hit a three, followed by a DU three-pointer, but Schultz answered with another NMU three to make it 38-29. Smith added a layup but DU followed with another three-pointer and two free throws to push out to a 43-31 lead.

Youngstrom then hit a free throw and a jumper, followed by two Smith free throws and sophomore Amber Huebner (Marquette, Mich.) made a layup to pull NMU within one basket, 43-41 with 3:21 on the clock.  The Panthers stopped the NMU run with a three and a layup, but two Smith free throws and a Schultz layup closed out the half with DU lead narrowed to 48-45 entering the fourth quarter.

 TAKING THE LEAD

Dillinger got things started in the fourth quarter with a three to tie the game, and sophomore Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) hit another three to give NMU a 51-48 lead two minutes into the final frame. 

Schultz extended the lead with a basket. DU hit a three but Weatherly answered with another make from behind the arc, giving NMU a 56-51 lead with six minutes to go. She then added another three points before DU scored at the 3:44 mark. A DU free throw preceded two Smith free throw. Another Davenport three-pointer made it 61-57 with 2:16 left.

Youngstrom and Lutz sank free throws, followed by two more from Youngstrom. After a jumper from the Panthers, Smith sank two more free throws to make it 67-59. DU scored once more, but Lutz made two free throws in the final seconds to seal the 69-61 win for NMU.

  UP NEXT

The Wildcats improve to 13-1 on the season and are now 8-1 in the GLIAC while Davenport fell to 5-11, 3-6 this season. NMU returns to action Saturday to take on #9 Grand Valley State University in a battle for first place in the GLIAC. Saturday's game is hosted by Culver's and is slated to begin at 1 p.m.