ST. PAUL, Minn. (WLUC) – Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball fell to Concordia University, St. Paul 63-61 in the first game of the Radisson Hotel Classic, hosted by Concordia St. Paul.
LEADING THE WAY
Senior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis.) led the Wildcats with 16 points and also finished with six rebounds. Sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) added 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Junior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) chipped in with eight points. Senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) led the team with four assists. Junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) posted three blocked shots in the game.
NMU shot 50% from the field, going 24-48 and also shot 41% from the three-point line while holding CSP to 26% from three.
BUILDING A LEAD
The Wildcats scored the first basket when Schultz made a layup 30 seconds into the game. Honkala added a layup before CSP made a free throw for their first score. Hodell answered with a jumper but the hosts responded with a layup to make it 6-3 at the 6:46 mark.
After a media timeout, Youngstrom made a layup followed by a three-pointer from senior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) to make it 11-3 with just over four minutes to play in the first quarter. CSP made a free throw but Smith scored twice and pushed the lead to 15-4 with 3:06 on the clock. The Golden Bears tried to cut into the NMU lead, but Hodell added two baskets and NMU finished the first quarter with a 19-9 lead.
FINISHING THE HALF
Smith made a free throw for the first score of the second quarter, but CSP rallied back. Honkala stopped the six-point run with a layup and made it 22-15 at the 6:50 mark. The Golden Bears responded with two more scores before Youngstrom sank a three and made it 25-19 at the media timeout.
Out of the timeout, Hodell traded baskets with CSP and then Honkala answered another Golden Bear basket with a free throw and made it 30-26 with 1:27 left in the half.
Smith finished the NMU scoring with a layup but CSP scored five points to close out the half and the teams went into the halftime break with the Wildcats on top 32-31.
THE THIRD QUARTER
The Golden Bears started the second half with a jumper to take their first lead of the game but Youngstrom answered with a three to give NMU back the lead, 35-34. CSP tied it with a basket but Schultz then hit a three and NMU was up 38-35 two minutes into the third quarter.
Honkala made a free throw then CSP converted an and-one. Junior Baleigh Delorit (Algoma, Wis.) responded with a three but the Golden Bears answered with their own three-pointer. After Hodell and CSP traded layups, the hosts made a free throw and a layup to capture a 46-44 lead for the Golden Bears with 5:18 left in the quarter.
At the four-minute mark, Delorit hit her second three-pointer but CSP answered with another three and held a 49-47 lead with three minutes to play. At 2:17 on the clock, Smith made a layup and tied the game. CSP finished the quarter with a free throw and a layup and led 52-49 as the teams entered the fourth quarter.
THE FINAL QUARTER
Youngstrom narrowed the gap with a free throw to open the final frame then Smith hit a jumper to tie the score 52-52 with 6:56 to play. Honkala made a jumper between two CSP baskets then Hodell sank a layup to tie the game 56-56 with 4:52 to play.
The hosts then took a lead, 61-56 but sophomore Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) hit a three at the 2:31 mark to make it 61-59. CSP made a jumper before Hodell answered with 56 seconds left and made the score 63-61, CSP leading. However, NMU was unable to score again and fell to the Golden Bears 63-61.
NMU falls to 4-2 on the season and returns to action Saturday afternoon to take on NAIA opponent University of Jamestown at 3 p.m.