NMU survives big Cardinal's fourth quarter to defeat SVSU
The Wildcat women's basketball team earned the regular season sweep over Saginaw Valley State University with a 71-66 victory in Saginaw, Michigan, Thursday night.
A tight battle throughout the first half, the women went to the locker room down one point at the end of the first half, looking for the bounce back effort in the final 20 minutes.
Jessica Schultz's career-high night helped her team to the 71-66 win while Elizabeth Lutz scored a season high 13 points as the Wildcats made 46 percent of their field goals, including 53.3 percent from three.
Eight women tallied at least one basket in the game, including 19 bench points in the contest en route to their season sweep.
The team's leader in points this season, senior Jessica schultz posted seven in the first half, including a three-pointer from deep to keep the Wildcats within one to start the second half.
Elizabeth Lutz sunk two shots from beyond the arc to boast six through the first 20 minutes.
The Wildcat women dominated the court in the third quarter, doubling their point total to take the 50-39 lead into the final quarter.
The women then battled in the fourth as their opponent fought to overcome the 11-point deficit but the Wildcats held strong late, taking the lead for the final time with just over 90 seconds remaining.
The two teams saw nine lead changes in the second half as the offensive battle was in full swing.
Early to start the third quarter, the women saw three lead changes in the first 2:05. The Wildcat women jumped out in front first, trading field goals with the Cardinals before Lutz posted her third three-pointer of the game to give NMU the two-point lead with 7:55 to go in the quarter.
With five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals jumped back out in front with the 57-56 lead. The Wildcats then hit a two-point jumper from Schultz to regain the lead before the Cardinals took it twice more, going up 62-60 with 3:12 remaining. The Wildcats would tie things up once more at 2:29 with a pair of free throws from Schultz. The senior was fouled again soon after to give NMU the 64-62 lead with less than two minutes in regulation. The Cardinals would tie things up at 64-all with a pair of free-throws of their own. Schultz was sent back to the line for her career-high 26th point of the game to give the Wildcats the 65-64 lead before Elena Alaix made a layup on the rebound to give the Wildcats the 67-64 lead late, one they would hold through the final horn for the 71-66 final.
CAREER HIGH NIGHT
Jessica Schultz hit nine shots on the evening as well as going a near perfect seven-of-eight from the line for a career-high 26 points. She also picked up two assists for the second-highest total of the night while taking four rebounds for the team as well.
The women travel to Midland, Michigan this Saturday for an afternoon contest with the Timberwolves before returning to the Berry Events Center on Thursday, February 6, for their game against Wisconsin-Parkside.
Their first game back home in over three weeks, both the men's and women's games next Thursday will serve as Scout Night for the local troops. The women's tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.