14 NCAA Tournament Appearances

2019 NCAA Regional Semi-finalist

Third Quarter Rally Helps Wildcats to 56-38 Victory over SVSU

Third Quarter Rally Helps Wildcats to 56-38 Victory over SVSU

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball kept Saginaw Valley State University opened the second half on 15-0 run and held Saginaw Valley State University to just 16 second half points on their way to a 56-38 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference victory.


Senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) led the way with 18 points and also snagged six rebounds. Senior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis.) finished with 10 points and five rebounds.

Junior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) finished with a team best 12 rebounds and tallied three blocked shots. Junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) chipped in to the effort with four assists.

This was the eighth time this season NMU has held their opponent under 50 points in GLIAC play and fifth time the other team scored less than 40 points. SVSU was also forced into just 24.5% shooting from the field and 22% from three. The Wildcats also managed to score 15 points off turnovers while the Cardinals only managed three, and scored 20 points in the point compared to just four from SVSU.


The Cardinals made two free throws to start the game but senior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) knocked in a three-pointer in response. After an SVSU score, Youngstrom hit a three then answered a Cardinal basket with a jumper to make it 8-6 four minutes into the game.

The Cardinals made two free throws to tie it before Honkala gave the Wildcats back the lead by making two free throws of her own and a layup. SVSU followed with a jumper but Youngstrom hit another three-pointer and sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) made a layup in the final minute to give NMU a 17-10 lead after the first frame.


Schultz opened the second quarter with a basket which the Cardinals answered. Hodell then made a layup but SVSU responded with two baskets before Hodell put the Wildcats ahead 23-16 halfway through the quarter. 

The Cardinals added two more free throws but Youngstrom added four points before SVSU hit a three. Sophomore Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) hit a three to answer and made it 30-21.

Smith added another layup before the Cardinals made a free throw and the teams went into the break with the Wildcats leading 32-22.


Youngstrom started the third quarter with a layup and a free throw and Dillinger followed it with another three to make it 38-22 just two minutes into the second half. Honkala and Hodell both added baskets to extend the lead to 42-22 a minute later.

Lutz then hit a three before Hodell sank two free throws to give the Wildcats a 15-0 run to open the second half. Saginaw Valley finally scored their first point of the second half at the 1:13 mark with a free throw. They then added a jumper and a three at the buzzer but Youngstrom made a free throw before the end of the quarter to give NMU a 48-25 lead as the teams headed into the fourth quarter.


To open the final quarter, Hodell made a basket. The Cardinals answered with two three-pointers to make it 50-34 three minutes in. Junior Baleigh Delorit (Algoma, Wis.) knocked in a jumper followed by a Youngstrom layup to put NMU up 54-34 with five minutes to go.

SVSU added two free throws and a jumper but and pulled within 54-38 but were unable to find another score. Schultz added a layup to seal the win and make the final 56-38.


The Wildcats improved to 16-6 on the season and are 11-3 in the GLIAC and remain at the top of the North Division standings. NMU returns to action Saturday afternoon to take on Northwood University in a game hosted by First Bank. At the conclusion of the game, the team will honor their five seniors as part of their Senior Day celebration.