MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – Northern Michigan University Women's Basketball took on Minnesota State University-Moorhead in a nonconference matchup and moved to 4-1 on the season with a 61-54 victory.
Senior Darby Youngstrom (Cook, Minn.) and junior Jessica Schultz (Mineral Point, Wis.) led the Wildcat offense with 15 points each. Senior Taylor Hodell (Wausau, Wis.) chipped in with seven points.
Hodell led the team on the glass, finishing with a team-best nine rebounds. Sophomore Lexi Smith (St. Germain, Wis.) had seven boards.
The Wildcats only committed eight fouls in the game and outrebounded the Dragons 36-28. Defensively, NMU kept MSU-Moorhead to just 32% shooting from the field.
THE FIRST QUARTER
The Dragons hit the first three of the game to go up 3-0 early, but Smith answered with a layup. Senior Tess Weatherly (Howell, Mich.) then added a three-pointer of her own and junior Baleigh Delorit (Algoma, Wis.) made a layup to give NMU a 7-4 lead four minutes into the game. The guests made two layups but a Hodell layup helped make it 9-7.
With less than three minutes to go in the quarter, Schultz hit a layup followed by two Smith free throws to make it 13-7 with under a minute to play. The Dragons made a jumper but Youngstrom's layup at the end of the quarter made it 15-9 after ten minutes.
FINISHING THE HALF
MSU-Moorhead opened the second quarter with a three but Weatherly again answered. Hodell then hit a layup and free throw to move the score to 21-12. Schultz and freshman Emily Mueller (Fond du Lac, Wis.) extended the NMU lead, 25-12 before the Dragons made a layup.
Schultz responded with a three, then Younsgstrom followed an MSU-Moorhead basket to make the score 30-16 with 3:40 to play. Delorit came out of the media timeout to hit a three, but the Dragons answered with six points. Smith sank a free throw to end the second quarter with NMU leading 34-22 after the first half.
STARTING THE SECOND HALF
The visitors hit a jumper and a three to open the second half. Mueller then hit a layup but the guests answered with two free throws. With less than four minutes to go in the quarter, Youngstrom hit a layup and Schultz made two free throws to push the NMU lead back up to 41-29 with 3:12 to play in the quarter.
After another Dragon basket, Hodell and Mueller scored. Lutz exchanged free throws with the guests and the quarter ended with NMU leading 47-33.
THE FINAL QUARTER
For the third time, the Dragons opened a quarter with a three to start the final frame. Youngstrom and Schultz answered with layups but MSU-Moorhead scored 11-straight points to make it 51-47 with 4:32 to play in the game.
Schultz and Youngstrom ended the rally with layups, but a jumper by MSU-Moorhead made it 55-49 with 3:02 to play.
Youngstrom came out of a timeout with the and-one to make it 58-49 with two minutes remaining. The Dragons made a basket, and answered a Youngstrom free throw with a layup and free throw, making the score 59-54 with 1:26 to go.
On the next NMU possession, Schultz made a layup to make it 61-54. The Dragons missed a three-pointer on their next possession. NMU then worked the shot clock down then Smith got her own rebound to seal the 61-54 victory for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats move to 4-1 with the win while MSU-Moorhead is now 2-2. NMU will return to action Friday afternoon and will visit Concordia University, St. Paul for the Radisson Hotel Classic. They then take on NAIA opponent University of Jamestown Saturday.