MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – Junior Amber Huebner (Marquette, Mich.) found senior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) for the game winning basket with one second remaining to give Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball a 55-53 victory over St. Cloud State University in the team's home opener.
Senior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) led the Wildcats with 16 points. She was also second on the team with seven rebounds, tying Huebner. Freshman Makaylee Kuhn (Hilbert, Wis.) chipped in with eight points.
Honkala posted a team-high nine rebounds while adding six points along with two assists, two steals and a block. Honkala, Huebner, junior Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) and junior Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) all aided the effort with six points.
Huebner and Smith notched two steals as well.
STARTING THE GAME
Schultz started the game with a basket to get the scoring started but SCSU answered with five points to take the lead. Schultz then converted the and-one to tie it up again, 7-7, to answer another Husky score.
The guests managed to score four points but the Wildcats answered with a 13-point run to end the first quarter. Facing an 11-7 deficit, Kuhn sank a three, then sophomore Elena Alaix (Madrid, Spain) hit a three to give NMU a 13-11 lead. Smith added a jumper before three free throws by Kuhn and then Smith made another basket right before the buzzer to give NMU a 20-11 first quarter lead.
HEADING INTO THE BREAK
The Huskies made a basket to open the second quarter but Huebner scored to answer. After four points from SCSU, Lutz hit a three before Schultz and Honkala notched a basket to extend the lead. Sophomore Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wis.) added a basket and Lutz hit another three to give NMU a 34-19 lead with less than four minutes to go.
SCSU made a three which Schultz followed with a basket. The Huskies responded with six points before freshman Samantha Potter (Royal Oak, Mich.) scored. SCSU closed out the quarter with two free throws but NMU entered the break with a 38-30 lead.
A NEW HALF
Huebner gave the Wildcats a 40-30 lead with a score but the Huskies rebounded with five points. Kuhn sank two free throws which SCSU followed with another five points and made it 42-40 with three minutes to go in the quarter.
Smith and Schultz both extended the lead with baskets then Schultz made one free throw and Honkala made two free throws to give NMU a 49-40 lead. In the final minute, SCSU made a three to send the teams into the final frame with NMU leading 49-43.
WINNING AT THE BUZZER
The Huskies scored first in the fourth but Schultz answered. With three minutes to play, SCSU made a basket which Huebner responded with a layup to make the score 53-47.
SCSU was able to respond and tied the game with 18 seconds to go. NMU called a timeout to set up the final play.
With one second left on the clock, Huebner found Honkala on the block wide open and Honkala made the layup to give NMU a 55-53 victory.
NMU is now 2-3 on the season while St. Cloud State lost their first game of the season and are now 3-2. The Wildcats return to action Sunday to take on Concordia University St. Paul at 2 p.m. in the Berry Events Center.