HILLSDALE, Mich. (WLUC) -- Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball starts the season 2-0 after defeating the University of Indianapolis 64-61 in the second game of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference/ Great Lakes Valley Conference Challenge played at Hillsdale College.
Junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.), led the Wildcats with 14 points and three blocks. Sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) had 12 points while senior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) finished with 10 points. Senior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis.) had nine points and four offensive rebounds, including three offensive boards.
Junior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) finished with a team-high five rounds. Senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) had four rebounds and a team-best three assists.
THE FIRST QUARTER
Dillinger found Schultz for a three-pointer to put NMU up 3-0 to start the game, then made a layup to make it 5-3 to answer a UIndy three. On the next NMU possession, Schultz added three more points on an old fashioned three-pointer to give the Wildcats an 8-3 lead four minutes in.
The Greyhounds put in a layup, but sophomore Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) responded with a three of her own and NMU was up 11-5. Hodell extended the lead to 13-5 then freshman Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wis.) increased the lead to 10 points, 15-5, with a layup at the 3:26 mark.
Hodell sank a free throw with 2:40 to go in the quarter then UIndy narrowed the game to 16-7. With a minute left, after a UIndy score, Schultz made another layup but a Greyhound three near the end of the quarter made the score 18-12 to end the first 10 minutes.
THE SECOND QUARTER
UIndy opened the second frame with a three, but Smith followed with two layups to push the Wildcat lead back to 22-15. The team's traded baskets, but two Smith free throws with two minutes left made it 30-22 with NMU on top. The Greyhounds scored five points to narrow the gap to just 30-27 but Smith made a layup at the buzzer to send NMU into the break with a 32-27 lead.
THE THIRD QUARTER
UIndy opened the quarter with a three, but Dillinger answered with a three-pointer of her own. The Greyhounds followed and made it a one-point game before Youngstrom made it 37-34 with 7:44 to play. UIndy again scored and Hodell answered with a layup. However, on the next possession the Greyhounds hit a three and tied the score at 39-39 with 6:09 on the clock.
Senior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) made a three in response, but UIndy hit a free throw then a layup to tie the game again at 42-42 at the 4:07 mark. Schultz broke the tie 20 seconds later with a three-pointer.
A minute later, UIndy made a basket to cut into the lead, but Honkala sank two free throws and NMU was back up 47-44 with 1:45 to go in the quarter. The Greyhounds answered with a three-point play to tie it for a third time this quarter.
With 1:09 to go, Youngstrom made a layup, but the Greyhounds sank a basket with seven seconds left in the quarter to send the game into the final quarter tied at 49-49.
THE FINAL QUARTER
Schultz hit a three-pointer, but UIndy responded with a three of their own to tie the score at 52-52 with 7:54 to play.
Two minutes later, the Greyhounds took a lead with a free throw and a jumper to give them a 55-52 lead, but Smith cut into the lead with her own jumper. However, UIndy hit another basket to go back up three. Youngstrom then hit a layup to narrow the gap, but the Greyhounds sank two free throws to keep a 59-56 lead with 3:45 to play.
With three minutes to play, Smith made a layup to cut into the deficit but UIndy made a free throw to lead 60-58 with 2:31 to go. At 1:49 on the clock, Dillinger made a free throw, and after a Greyhound miss, Lutz hit a three-pointer to get NMU on top 62-60 with 1:22 to go. The Greyhounds converted a free throw to make it 62-61 with 1:03 to go, but struggled to get another basket. With 15 seconds to go, Dillinger stepped to the line and sank both free to put the Wildcats up 64-61. UIndy attempted a three at the buzzer but it missed to give NMU the victory.
The Wildcats will return to action Tuesday for their first home game of the season to host University of Minnesota-Duluth at 5:30 in the Berry Events Center.