Wildcat Women can't keep pace with Minnesota State

(NMU Graphic)
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MANKATO, Mn. Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball visited Mankato State University Mankato Thursday night but fell to the Mavericks 83-57.

NMU was led by junior Lexi Smith (St. Germain) who finished with 13 points and added four rebounds. Senior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) tallied 10 points and paced the team with six rebounds.

Junior Amber Huebner (Marquette, Mich.) and sophomore Elena Alaix (Madrid, Spain) chipped in with eight points each. Huebner also finished with a team-best five assists. Sophomore Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wis.) aided the effort with seven points.

The Mavericks scored early in the game but Huebner hit Smith for a three to give NMU a 3-2 lead three minutes into the game. Freshman Makaylee Kuhn (Hilbert, Wis.) then found Alaix for a three after an MSU Mankato basket to move the Wildcats ahead 6-4 at the 4:33 mark.

The hosts answered with an eight-point run before Smith hit another three, this time from freshman Gwen Streblow (Plymouth, Wis.) to give the Mavericks a 12-9 lead with a little over two minutes left in the quarter. Mankato followed with another three, which Huebner and Smith followed with two free throws each to make it 15-13. However, Mavericks ended the quarter on a six point run to give them a 21-13 lead after the first quarter.

After a five-point rally from the hosts, freshman Samantha Potter (Royal Oak, Mich.) hit a jumper to narrow the deficit to 26-17 almost three minutes into the second quarter. Honkala hit a jumper at 5:54 which made it 30-19. Schultz and Huebner then answered a short run by the Mavericks to make it 36-23.

After another three points from Mankato, Mueller hit two jumpers but another basket by the Mavericks made it 39-27. Schultz added a free throw, and Huebner sank two more to answer a Mankato three but the Mavericks were then able to push out to a 44-30 advantage. Smith then converted the and-one with a minute left to make it 44-33.

With 17 seconds to go, Schultz made two free throws but MSU Mankato ended the half with a layup and the Mavericks entered the halftime break with a 47-35 lead.

The second half saw Mankato take an early run to start the third quarter, taking a 67-37 lead but NMU ended the quarter on a 10-0 run. Honkala started the run with a jumper before Huebner added two layups. After a Potter steal, Huebner made another layup and Honkala scored with 15 seconds left to make the score 67-47 at the end of the third.

Redshirt freshman Andrea Perez (Madrid, Spain) opened the fourth quarter with a three. The Mavericks responded with six points until Honkala hit a layup to make it 73-52. With three minutes left, Alaix knocked in a jumper then hit a three with eight seconds left in the game. However the Mavericks extended their lead and captured an 83-57 victory.

The Wildcats fall to 1-2 to open the season while MSU Mankato start 1-0. NMU returns to action Saturday to take on the University of Minnesota Duluth.