Stevenson’s return helps Wildcat Women over Purdue Northwest

 (NMU Graphic)
(NMU Graphic) (WLUC)
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 12:26 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLUC) - Makaylee Kuhn (19 points) and Taya Stevenson (15 points) combined for over half of the Wildcats’ scoring production in a 64-48 GLIAC-opening win at Purdue Northwest on Friday.

Makaylee Kuhn led the Wildcat attack for the third straight game, totaling 19 points on the evening. She has reached double-figures in 7-8 games this season, with at least 14 in three straight.In her return to the lineup since the season opener, Taya Stevenson knocked in 3-4 from beyond the arc to help rejuvenate a team that has shot cold from three in the last few games. In total, Stevenson went 6-8 from the field for 15 points.The Wildcats (5-3, 1-0 GLIAC), were productive from the floor, shooting 26-49 (53.1%) while Purdue Northwest (4-4, 0-1 GLIAC) was just 17-48 (35.4%).

How it Happened It was a cold start on the hardwood in Hammond, with neither side able to get a shot through the net in the first 2:30 of gameplay. The Pride cracked the scoreboard first via the free throw, and Makaylee Kuhn got the ‘Cats going with a turnaround jumper soon after. After being out of the lineup since the season opener, Australian Taya Stevenson entered the game partway through the quarter for NMU and made an immediate impression, knocking down a series of shots, two coming two beyond the arc, to help contribute to a 9-0 Wildcat run to go up 16-9. A Dash Shaw jumper beat the buzzer for PNW to make it a five-point game after 10 minutes of action.

The second quarter was a collection of runs. The Wildcats opened up with a 5-0 run to get ahead double-digits at 21-11, but the Pride put together nine straight to claw all the way back within a single point nearing the halfway point of the quarter.The Green and Gold were not flustered, answering the PNW run with a 9-0 scoring stretch of their own to go back up ten, highlighted by Stevenson’s third triple of the evening to propel her total to 11 points.The ‘Cats led 33-23 at the half supported by a 12-21 (57.1%) shooting clip from the field. Turnovers plagued each side from creating consistent offensive rhythm in the half, as each squad eclipsed the double-digit mark.

Another Wildcat hit double figures right as the second half got underway, as Kuhn took a steal and went coast-to-coast. Northern Michigan put together yet another notable run in the quarter, a stretch of seven straight to seize the largest lead at 17. Kuhn again flashed her abilities to close the quarter, capping it off with a driving and-one to remain up 17 at 50-33 at quarter’s close.

The Pride broke out the full-court press in the final frame, trying to disrupt the Wildcats’ game flow. PNW’s Kylie Schmidt rattled in a pair of attempts from beyond the arc to make it an 11-point game with just over six minutes to go.Kuhn put together three baskets over a multiple-minute stretch to put the game on ice, including a fadeaway to beat the shot clock and a running sky hook. NMU held strong down the stretch to polish off a 64-48 victory.

Postgame Notes

  • Makaylee Kuhn led the way with 19 points on 9-18 (50%) shooting. She contributed across the box score, adding 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.
  • Taya Stevenson was efficient in her return to the lineup, chipping in 15 points on a 6-8 (75%) shooting clip, including hitting 3-4 from beyond the arc.
  • As a team, Northern shot 26-49 (53.1%) from the field. The Pride shot 17-48 (35.4%) on the evening.
  • NMU was dominant in the paint, holding a 40-22 edge in points scored down low.
  • The ‘Cats were in control for the majority of the contest, holding a lead for over 32 minutes of play, with the largest lead reaching 17 points on two occasions.
  • Kylie Schmidt was a perfect 3-3 from three to pace the Pride with 13 points.

Up NextThe Wildcats will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin for a conference clash with the Rangers of Parkside on Saturday, December 3. Tip-off will take place at 4 p.m.