MARQUETTE, Mi. Senior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) found junior Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) for the game-winning three pointer to give the Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball team a 58-56 victory over Wayne State University in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.
Schultz led the team with 19 points, including a 6-6 performance from the free throw line. She also tallied six rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot. Sophomore Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wis.) added 11 points and a team-best seven rebounds.
Lutz tallied nine points and four assists while freshman Makaylee Kuhn (Hilbert, Wis.) chipped in with nine points and five rebounds.
As a team, the Wildcats hit a season-high nine threes.
A QUICK START
Schultz scored the first basket of the game. After a basket by Wayne State, Kuhn and Schultz made threes, followed by a jumper from Kuhn to give NMU a 10-2 lead just over three minutes in.
The Warriors scored three points before senior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) made a layup and Mueller hit a three to make the score 15-5 with a little under four minutes left in the quarter. Wayne State rallied with five points to close out the quarter but NMU held a 15-10 lead after the first 10 minutes.
HEADING TO THE BREAK
Wayne State got the second quarter started with a basket but Schultz followed it with a jumper. The Warriors tied the score at 17-17 but Lutz made a three, then Schultz made a jumper and Mueller hit another three to answer a WSU score, making it 25-19 with 2:34 to play.
On the next NMU possession Schultz found Lutz for a three in response to a Warrior jumper to give NMU a 28-21 lead with 1:50 left in the half. With a minute left, freshman Samantha Potter (Royal Oak, Mich.) made a free throw, but the Warriors rallied again to close out the quarter. At the buzzer, NMU was leading 29-25 leading into the half.
A NEW HALF
Schultz and Kuhn scored to open the second half. After two baskets from WSU, Potter hit a three to move the score 36-29 with four minutes to play in the quarter. The guests responded with a run and eventually took a 39-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Wayne State pushed their lead to 43-36 before Mueller made a three, but WSU answered with two free throws. After a Honkala free throw, the Warriors added two more from the charity stripe to take a 47-40 lead.
With 5:38 to play, junior Amber Huebner (Marquette, Mich.) sank a free throw then added a layup a minute later. Wayne State made a layup, then Schultz hit four free throws which made it 49-47. At the 2:50 mark, WSU sank two more free throws which Kuhn answered with a layup before Mueller made two free throws to tie the game at 51-51 with two minutes left.
Schultz answered a WSU basket to tie it again at 53-53 with 1:26 to play. With 41 seconds left, Schultz added two free throws to which gave the Wildcats their first lead of the quarter, 55-53.
AN EXCITING FINISH
Wayne State called their final timeout and came out to hit a three with 28 seconds left to give them a 56-55 lead and force a timeout from NMU.
With 18 seconds left, Huebner came off a screen at the top of the key by set by Mueller and drove down the lane line before finding Schultz under the basket. The Warrior defense collapsed down on Schultz who found Lutz win open in front of the NMU bench and Lutz sank the game winner with 10.3 seconds remaining on the clock.
Wayne State's attempt at a game-winning basket rimmed out and neither team was able to gather the rebound giving the Wildcats a 58-56 victory.
NMU is now 6-7 on this season and 3-2 in the GLIAC. Wayne State fell to 7-6 overall, 1-4 in the league play. NMU returns to action next week and hits the road for GLIAC action as they visit Purdue University Northwest Thursday and University of Wisconsin Parkside on Saturday.