Wildcats Fall to Ranked Flyers

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – The Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball team lead #6 Lewis University for three quarters but the ranked Flyers outscored the Wildcats in the fourth quarter to defeat NMU 58-50 in the final game of 2018 for the women's basketball team.

STAT LEADERS
Nine players scored for the Wildcats, led by three players with nine points. Junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) had nine points and led the team with seven rebounds. Juniors Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) and Baleigh Delorit (Algoma, Wis.) also had nine points.

Sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) chipped in with eight points. Honkala, along with senior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis.) and freshman Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wis.) each grabbed five rebounds.
The Wildcat defense again was strong as they allowed the Flyers just 22.2% shooting from behind the three-point line.

STARTING STRONG
NMU scored the first eight points of the game. Senior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) made a layup to get things started then Schultz made two layups and Smith added one to give the Wildcats an 8-0 lead three minutes into the game.

The Flyers scored two free throws to get on the board before a Hodell jumper gave NMU ten points. Lewis answered with two baskets but Honkala hit a three in response to make it 13-6 five minutes into the game.

Dillinger added a free throw but the guests cut the lead down to 14-11. At the end of the quarter, sophomore Amber Huebner (Marquette, Mich.) hit a layup and gave the Wildcats a 16-11 lead after the first quarter.

PLAYING EVEN
In the second quarter, Lewis scored twice to cut the lead to one, but Honkala hit a jumper and free throw. However, the hosts managed to tie the score at 19-19 at the 7:16 mark. Honkala sank two more free throws, and after another Flyer bucket, Delorit hit her first three and made it 24-21 with 4:28 to play in the half.

Delorit hit another three with a little over two minutes to play but the Flyers answered with their own three. Schultz and senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) responded with layups. In the final minute, Lewis sank a jumper and sent the teams into halftime with NMU leading 31-26.

THE SECOND HALF
The third quarter started with two Flyer baskets before Delorit hit her third three-pointer of the game two minutes into the half. Lewis hit a three to answer but Smith then added a layup to make it 36-33 with 7:36 on the clock.

Smith scored twice and Youngstrom added a basket to push the NMU lead out to 42-33 with five minutes to go in the quarter. The Flyers went on a short five-point run but sophomore Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) made a layup to make it 44-38 with just over a minute to play. Lewis added a layup on the final possession of the quarter and it was 44-40 with NMU on top after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, Schultz made a three after an LU basket, but the Flyers hit a three to answer. Lewis then made a layup and free throw to take their first lead of the game, 48-47 with six minutes to play.

Youngstrom made a layup to give NMU back the lead then Honkala made a layup and NMU was leading 50-48 with 4:26 to play. However, the Wildcats were unable to score again as Lewis pulled ahead to take a 58-50 victory.

UP NEXT
The Wildcats fall to 9-3 on the season while the Flyers, who are ranked #6 in the D2SIDA poll and #20 in the WBCA Poll improve to 8-1, with their lone loss coming to NMU in the season opener.

NMU returns to action Thursday, January 3 at Wayne State University as the team resumes Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.