MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball celebrated Senior Day with a 54-43 victory over Northwood University in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference clash.
The Wildcats were led by senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, MInn.), who finished with a game high 17 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Junior Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) chipped in by tying her season-high of 14 points and finished with six rebounds. Sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) also finished with six rebounds and added six points.
A SLOW START
The visiting Timberwolves started the game on a 9-0 run before Honkala scored the first NMU basket at the five-minute mark. She then added a layup on the next possession to make it 9-4 with 4:22 on the clock.
Youngstrom added a basket a minute later which concluded the first quarter scoring, giving Northwood a 9-6 lead at the end of the quarter.
TAKING A LEAD WITH A RUN
After finishing the first quarter on a 6-0 run, the Wildcats continued their rally into the second quarter. Junior Baleigh Delorit (Algoma, Wis.) hit a three-pointer early followed by a Youngstrom layup that gave NMU an 11-9 lead at the 8:36 mark.
Two minutes later, the Timberwolves tied it at 11-11 for their first basket in 10 minutes. They then added a layup to take a quick lead, but senior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis.) made a layup in response to give the Wildcats the lead back, 13-12 with 6:17 on the clock. Honkala then made two baskets to move NMU up to a 17-11 lead with five minutes left in the half.
NU would then make two free throws which Smith answered with a layup, but NU followed with a score to make the score 19-16 with three minutes on the clock. Schultz then made a free throw that the Timberwolves followed with two of their own.
Honkala responded with a free throw and Youngstrom added a jumper making the score 23-18 as the teams entered the break.
STARTING A NEW HALF
Honkala got the second half started with a three-pointer, but the Timberwolves answered with a three of their own. Youngstrom then followed with a layup but again, NU answered with a jumper to make the score 28-23 with 7:13 on the clock.
NU managed to tie the game at 28-28 with 4:48 to go. A minute later, senior Sydney Dillinger (Houghton, Mich.) made a three followed by a Hodell jumper and Youngstrom layup to put the Wildcats ahead 35-28 with 2:15 to go in the quarter.
Northwood inched closer with a three and a jumper, but Youngstrom hit a three at the buzzer to send the teams into the fourth quarter with NMU leading 38-33.
GETTING THE W
The fourth quarter opened with NU pulling within 38-37, but Honkala stopped the run with a jumper two minutes in. Youngstrom then added a free throw and Schultz added two more before a Smith jumper made the score 45-37 with six minutes to play.
NU answered with a three-point play but Youngstrom responded with a layup. The Timberwolves then hit a free throw which sophomore Elizabeth Lutz (Marshall, Wis.) followed with two free throws and Youngstrom added one more to make it 50-41 with 43 seconds to play.
Lutz added two more free throws with 19 seconds to go which was followed by an NU layup. Youngstrom then made two more free throws before the end of the quarter to give NMU a 54-43 victory.
At the conclusion of the game, the team honored their five seniors for their contributions to the program. Senior Chloe Tompkins (Dousman, Wis.) made her first start and appearance since her sophomore season while senior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.), Dillinger, Hodell and Youngstrom also got the start.
The Wildcats improve to 17-6 on the season and are now 12-3 in the GLIAC while Northwood fell to 10-13 overall and 7-7 in the league. NMU will now hit the road for their final five games of the season, beginning with a road trip to Ferris State University Thursday and Lake Superior State University Saturday.