SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball took on #1 Drury University Saturday in the second game of the Oasis Hotel & Convention Center Thanksgiving Classic but fell to the top ranked Panthers 72-44.
Sophomore Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wis.) and senior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) both led the team with nine points. Honkala also added eight rebounds and two blocks. Those two blocks tied senior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) for the team-high. Schultz finished the game with eight points and a team-best nine rebounds.
Freshman Makaylee Kuhn (Hilbert, Wis.) tallied seven points and a career-high six rebounds. Junior Amber Huebner (Marquette, Mich.) finished with a new career-high six assists.
As a team, NMU outrebounded the Panthers 44-36.
The Wildcats took an early 3-2 lead when Huebner found Honkala for a three-pointer 32 seconds into the game. After a run from Drury, Potter sank two free throws that made the score 9-5 with 7:45 on the clock.
Three minutes later, Kuhn hit a three to end another Panther run to make it 16-8 at the 4:21 mark. With 51 seconds left, Mueller hit a jumper but two baskets by Drury gave the Panthers a 20-10 lead at the end of the quarter.
THE SECOND QUARTER
Mueller made a layup to open the second quarter before Honkala followed with a jumper. Mueller then hit a three which cut the deficit down to 20-17 with 8:30 left in the quarter.
The Panthers responded with a rally before sophomore Elena Alaix (Madrid, Spain) sank two free throws with 2:58 on the clock. Schultz ended the quarter with a layup and three but Drury took a 38-24 lead into the halftime break.
STARTING A NEW HALF
Drury got the second half started with six points before Mueller hit a jumper three minutes in to make it 44-26. Redshirt freshman Andrea Perez (Madrid, Spain) added a jumper but the hosts responded with eight points until Schultz made a layup with 3:38 on the clock which made the score 52-30. Six points from the Panthers gave Drury a 58-30 lead to end the quarter.
FINISH IT OUT
Huebner hit a three to start the fourth quarter followed by a layup from Honkala. Kuhn then followed three points from Drury with two baskets to make the score 61-39 with 5:32 to play. Schultz added a free throw but the Panthers answered with a three which gave Drury a 64-40 lead at the four-minute mark.
With 1:49 left, Honkala made a layup. Alaix added a layup with 40 seconds remaining but Drury was able to increase their lead to take a 72-44 victory.
NMU is now 3-5 on the season while Drury improves to 6-0. The Wildcats return to Marquette and will now open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play as they host Northwood University Thursday and Saginaw Valley State University Saturday.