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NMU Women use big second half to defeat Finlandia

Balanced scoring for Wildcats
 (NMU Graphic)
(NMU Graphic) (WLUC)
Published: Jan. 2, 2022 at 11:03 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team returned to action with a convincing win over U.P. opponent Finlandia University, taking Sunday’s (Jan. 2) contest by a 70-42 score.

STAT LEADERS Twelve Wildcats got into the scoring column led by Elizabeth Lutz and Ana Rhude who each broke double-digits with 11 points each.The ‘Cats held a 47-33 edge on the glass, led by Ana Rhude, Samantha Potter, and Vivianne Jende who each had seven boards. Jende collected four of her seven boards on the offensive glass.Northern saw some strong performances on the defensive end, as Ana Rhude collected three blocks while Taya Stevenson tallied three steals. The visiting Lions were paced by guard Bailey Froberg, who tallied a game high 12 points. NMU shot 22-62 (35.5%) from the field while the Lions struggled throughout the contest, shooting 11-54 (20.4%). Each team got to the line 23 times, with the ‘Cats converting 20-23 and Finlandia not far behind at 17-23.

FIRST QUARTER The Wildcats got on the board first as Elizabeth Lutz rained in a corner three-point shot on the games opening possession following an offensive rebound from Samantha Potter. The ‘Cats struggled to finish around the basket, finding themselves trailing 8-5 midway through the first frame. NMU shot 5-21 (23.8%) from the field in the opening quarter. Northern would find success as they attacked the offensive glass and gave themselves several second chance opportunities. The ‘Cats were a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe in the quarter. NMU outrebounded the opposition 17-4. Ana Rhude led the way on the glass with four boards.The Wildcats carried an 18-13 edge heading into the second quarter, their largest lead in the opening 10 minutes. Six Wildcats got into the scoring column, led by six points from Elizabeth Lutz and four from Vivianne Jende.

SECOND QUARTER The Wildcats again struggled to finish at the basket to open up quarter number two. The lone basket in the first five plus minutes of play came on a jumper from the high post from Samantha Potter. Vivianne Jende would get the next pair of baskets for the ‘Cats followed by a triple by CJ Romero to give the home team a 27-19 lead in the closing minutes of the half. Ana Rhude would close out the half for the Wildcats with a pair of scores below the basket.A three from the Lions went wide at the buzzer and Northern took a 31-21 lead into the locker room at the half.

FIRST HALF LEADERS Jende, Rhude, and Lutz all tallied six points to lead the Wildcats in the first half. Lundeen led the visiting Lions with eight points to be the games leading scorer through the first 20 minutes of action. The Wildcats dominated the glass in the half, out rebounding the Lions 27-13 with a 13-4 edge on the offensive glass. Andrea Perez, Ana Rhude, and Vivianne Jende each pulled down five boards. Jende and Taya Stevenson each grabbed three boards on the offensive attack.Finlandia found success attacking the basket and getting to the line in the half, where they shot 8-9 while NMU was a perfect 6-6. Northern shot 11-36 (30.6%) from the field while Finlandia struggled as well with a 6-27 (22.2%) shooting percentage in the half. After hitting the first shot 30 seconds into the game, the Wildcats held the lead for nearly the entire first half and never found themselves down multiple possessions despite the Lions pressure on both sides of the ball.

THIRD QUARTER The Wildcats opened the scoring in the third with a triple from Andrea Perez. Vivianne Jende would score on the following possession as she followed up her own miss and took to the glass for her third basket. A steal and a layup from Perez would lead to a timeout from the Lions as the ‘Cats opened up a 38-21 lead. The Lions would not score for nearly four minutes until Mariah Austin hit a deep triple to halt a 9-0 run from Northern to start the half. Finlandia responded with a 8-2 run of their own before Elizabeth Lutz found the bottom of the net from downtown.After runs from each team, the middle of the third frame saw plenty of back and forth action as the teams exchanged baskets. The Wildcats would close the quarter just as strong as they started, with an 11-2 run to lead 53-31 heading into the fourth. The ‘Cats got to the line early and often, shooting 8-10 from the charity stripe.Elizabeth Lutz and Ana Rhude both broke double figures in scoring as they led the way with 11 points each.

FOURTH QUARTER The Wildcats would again start the quarter strong with a 7-0 run. The quarter’s first tally came from Emily Mueller, as she got a turnaround shot to go in the paint. The Lions attacked the basket and got to the charity stripe often in the closing quarter, as they got nine points at the line before their only basket of the quarter with under a minute left.Northern was steady on offense in the closing frame as they got baskets at all three levels as well as the free-throw line.

UP NEXT NMU will return to GLIAC play next week with a pair of matchups at the Berry. Purdue Northwest will visit on Thursday, Jan. 6 with a 5:30 p.m. start. The three game homestand will wrap up on Saturday, Jan. 8 against Parkside with opening tip-off at 11 a.m.

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