ALLENDALE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball kept #6 Ashland University to their second lowest offensive total of the season but were unable to pull off the upset, falling to the ranked Eagles 65-58 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship.
| STAT LEADERS
Senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) led the way with 26 points to lead all scorers. She also added three rebounds and three steals. Junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) added 11 points and added five rebounds. The pair was also named to the GLIAC All-Tournament Team.
Sophomore Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) chipped in with 10 points and two steals.
| AN EVEN FIRST
Senior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) got the game started with a three from the corner but Ashland scored on their next possession with a layup. Schultz answered with a layup but the Eagles responded with two layups before Youngstrom scored to make the score 7-6 with NMU leading at the 5:16 mark. Youngstrom then answered an Eagle layup with another jumper to give the Wildcats a 9-8 lead at the media timeout with 4:34 on the clock.
After a three from AU, Schultz hit a free throw, but Ashland replied with another three to take a 14-10 lead. Schultz and Younstrom followed with layups before AU sank two free throws to go up 16-14. Youngstrom then scored again to tie it at 16-16 to end the first quarter.
| THE SECOND QUARTER
Schultz opened the second quarter with a layup but the Eagles retaliated with six points to take a 22-18 lead. Sophomore Amber Huebner (Marquette, Mich.) followed with four points to tie the game, 22-22, with 5:42 in the half. Ashland was able to score once more before the media timeout to go up 24-22.
After an Ashland score, Lutz made a three, and after another Eagle basket, Youngstrom made a layup, making the score 28-27 with 1:04 to play. Youngstrom added another layup after an Eagle score, but Ashland added two layups before the half to take a 32-29 lead at the half.
| A NEW HOPE
Youngstrom opened the second half with two baskets inside the paint to put the Wildcats up 33-32. AU countered with six points before Huebner made a layup to reduce the AU lead to 38-35 with 5:51 to play. Ashland managed to score again before the media timeout and took a 40-35 lead with 4:46 to go in the quarter.
Out of the timeout, Youngstrom scored inside then Schultz made two free throws after a jumper from AU. Ashland added two layups around another Schultz basket which made the score 46-41 with 2:27 to play. Youngstrom responded with three free throws and made it a 46-44 game as the teams prepared for the final quarter.
| FINISHING IT OUT
Ashland got the fourth quarter started with a layup, which Youngstrom followed with a free throw. The Eagles scored another layup, but Lutz answered it with a layup for NMU. AU responded with their own layup before an NMU timeout.
The Wildcats missed on their next possession and Ashland took advantage with a score. Senior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) then drove the baseline and put in a layup to make it 54-49 with 6:26 to play. Ashland answered with a layup but Lutz drove to the basket and made another layup to respond.
Youngstrom then narrowed it to 56-53 with a jumper, but AU sank two free throws. Youngstrom scored again but the Eagles followed with five points and took a 63-55 lead with 1:31 to go.
Ashland added another layup which Lutz answered with a three from the top of the key to make it 65-58 with 29 seconds to play. However, NMU was unable to pull any closer and fell to #6 Ashland who has now won four-straight GLIAC Championships.
| UP NEXT
The Wildcats fall to 22-9 on the season while Ashland improved to 29-2. NMU will now await their NCAA Tournament fate as the tournament selections will be announced at 10 p.m. tonight. The NCAA Selection Show is available on NCAA.com.