Wildcats Women's Basketball Hangs On For 56-53 Victory Over Cardinals

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) -- The Northern Michigan University women's basketball program (5-5, 2-0 GLIAC) hung on late for the 56-53 victory over Saginaw Valley State University (5-5, 1-1 GLIAC) Saturday afternoon to remain undefeated at home in 2019-20.

Two women combined for half the team's total points (28) in Erin Honkala (Howell, Mich.) and Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wisc.) while Makaylee Kuhn (Hilbert, Wisc.) tallied 12 points along with a team-best four assists and a block to help carry the Wildcats to the three-point win.

Along with 14 points, Honkala added an assist and led the team in steals with three. She also led with eight rebounds, including five on the defensive side of the ball.

Schultz also contributed 14 points for NMU in the win along with an assist while going 4-4 at the line.

Kuhn led the team in assists (four) while tallying the second-most points with 12.

Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wisc.) blocked one shot for the team-lead Saturday.

The Wildcats jumped out to an early 4-0 run before the Cardinals were able to get on the board. After leading 10-7 with less than two minutes to go in the quarter, the Wildcats went on a 7-0 stretch led by Honkala and Mueller to end the first period of play up 17-7.

NMU continued it's run to go up 20-10 early in the second quarter before the Cardinals came back to score nine of the next 11 points to cut the Wildcat lead to three (22-19). After the Cardinals stole a quick lead, 26-24, Schultz sunk two free throws to tie it up at 26-all heading into the second half.

Both teams traded buckets in the third quarter with SVSU holding the advantage through the first six minutes of play.

With 3:46 to go in the quarter, Honkala put the Wildcats back on top, 33-32, although short-lived. The Cardinals quickly took back the lead and the Wildcats fought to stay within a few points, ultimately entering the final period trailing 39-37.

The Wildcats opened the fourth quarter with Elena Alaix (Madrid, Spain) dropping a quick three-pointer to give the team a 40-39 lead just 17 seconds in, a lead they would not give up for the remainder of the game.

In the final quarter, the Wildcats outscored the Cardinals, 19-14 to hold on for the 56-53 final score and improve their season record to 5-5 and stay undefeated in conference action.

The women are set to face GLIAC foe Michigan Tech next Sunday in Houghton, Michigan. Their tip is set for 1 p.m. followed by the men's game at 3 p.m.

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