End of the road for women’s b-ball


NMU seniors Allison Carroll and LaShawn Lambert’s collegiate basketball careers came to an end last Saturday, as the women’s basketball team closed its season with a 64-79 home loss to Lake Superior State University (LSSU).

Head coach Troy Mattson said he knew going into the game that LSSU would be a tough match-up for his team.

“There are two teams that have really given us problems in the past, one is Hillsdale College and the other is Lake State,” Mattson said. “They pound the ball down inside and then they have long athletic guards that give us trouble on offense.”

With the loss, the Wildcats finish their season with a 9-17 overall record and a 4-11 record in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The Lakers improved to 11-14 overall and 7-10 in the GLIAC. Both teams failed to make the GLIAC post-season conference tournament.

During the game, the ‘Cats struck first and built an early lead, but the Lakers battled back and went on a 12-0 run with 11 minutes left to secure a 10-point lead. The ‘Cats battled back but couldn’t close the deficit to less than five points.

“They don’t run plays all the time, they just keep moving and throw the ball around a lot,” Mattson said. “It proves you don’t have to run a lot of plays to be a good basketball team.”

The ‘Cats were led in scoring by junior Kelsey Deacon, who scored 18 points. Allison Carroll pitched in a 16 point and six rebound effort to round out her career at Northern.

Carroll is leaving NMU at the end of a four-year career in which she scored 1,424 points and grabbed 545 rebounds.

“Allison was a great player for us,” Mattson said. “If you look at how many points she scored and how many rebounds she had, you see how good she was. We just didn’t get the wins while she was here.”

With the season over, the Wildcats’ focus turns to next year’s season; a season in which Mattson said the team will rely on a strong senior presence and contributions from incoming freshmen.

The Wildcats relied heavily on contributions by this season’s three juniors, Deacon, Cassie Hegbloom, and Cassie Rushford. Deacon was the second highest scorer on the team this year, averaging 12.3 points per game. Hegbloom averaged 4.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game as one of the starting forwards for the ‘Cats. Rushford contributed 3.5 points per game and added key depth to the team.

Next year’s seniors will be joined by a strong class of future freshman, which includes three early signees. The incoming athletes are two high school players, Lauren Beeler and Brynn Larsen, and a junior college transfer, Jaclyn Davey.

Beeler, a forward from L’Anse, averaged 18.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and three blocks per game in her senior season. She was a first team all-conference and All-U.P. Class D selection and an honorable mention selection to the all-state team last year.

Beeler has scored over 1,000 points in her high school career.

Larsen, a guard from Oconto Falls, Wis. averaged 15.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per outing during her junior year. She was a three-time first team all-conference selection.

Jaclyn Davey, a 6-foot-1 inch center, is a sophomore transfer from Sauk Valley Community College. In her sophomore year at Sauk Valley, Davey averaged 8.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.