Northern Michigan Women’s Basketball takes down Illinois-Springfield

In Coach Thousand’s first meeting with her former team, the Wildcats were victorious.
Published: Dec. 17, 2022 at 10:54 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Northern Michigan women’s basketball team (8-4) won their second straight game on Saturday, defeating Illinois-Springfield (0-11) by a 67-53 margin. In Coach Thousand’s first meeting with her former team, the Wildcats were victorious.

Makaylee Kuhn recorded her second consecutive double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, her fourth of the season. She has scored 18+ in six straight games. Mackenzie Holzwart added 13 points with eight rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass. Despite being outshot from three (UIS 9-21, NMU 1-14), the Wildcats dominated in the paint, outsourcing UIS 46-16. The Green and Gold controlled the glass 50-22 while holding a 22-4 edge in offensive rebounds.

After a Prairie Stars triple to open up the scoring, the Wildcats went on a 9-0 run to gain an early advantage. UIS scored nine of the next 11 to get the lead back at 12-11 with the first quarter winding down. The sides exchanged leads a few more times before the quarter would close, with the Green and Gold up a pair 18-16 heading to the second.

The Prairie Stars would not go away quietly, as a coast-to-coast layup for Brianna Zajicek gave them the lead back at 23-22. That would be the last time the visitors led in the contest, as the ‘Cats went on a 14-3 run to jump ahead by ten, 38-28, at halftime. Makaylee Kuhn had 13 points in the half to pace all scorers.

The Wildcats were an empty 0-10 from three in the opening 20 minutes but dominated the offensive glass 15-3. Mackenzie Holzwart helped carry over the momentum into the second half, grabbing a steal and running end-to-end for the first points of half number two.

After a couple of UIS baskets brought it back to single digits, Northern went on a 9-0 run to go ahead 49-32 with three minutes to play in the third. They would take a 52-39 advantage into the final frame. Holzwart again got the ‘Cats going in the last quarter with a jumper in the paint. She would later connect on a triple from the corner for NMU’s first make from beyond the arc on their 13th attempt.

The ‘Cats put the game on cruise control in the final minutes for a 67-53 victory.

The Wildcats will next take the court on Monday, January 2, 2023, when they pay a visit to Northwood.