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Molly Birch

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Women’s basketball splits weekend

The women’s basketball team split their home games last weekend with a Thursday, Jan. 27 victory against the Hillsdale Chargers 67-64, but fell to the Northwood Timberwolves 65-58 on Saturday, Jan. 29.

Northern and Hillsdale kept things close throughout the entire game, with neither team getting more than a seven-point lead. However, guard Kelsey Campbell was able to swing the momentum towards the home team, as she hit a crucial 3-pointer from the left corner. The basket gave the Wildcats a one-point lead with 35 seconds left.

“I know we needed a shot, so when I got the ball, I didn’t think about anything else,” Campbell said. “(Head) Coach (Troy Mattson) told me to be a playmaker.”

Hillsdale had a chance to tie the game, as Charger Chelsea Harrison had two free throw opportunity, but NMU forward Erin Powers grabbed the rebound to ice the game.

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“I was just hoping she was going to miss it,” Powers said. “I had a feeling something was going to go our way, because it was our time.”

Powers recorded the only block for the team to go along with her nine points and four rebounds. Forward Staci Beckel lead the Wildcats in scoring with 21 points and six rebounds, while guard Steffani Stoeger also put up 14 points to go along with her season-high five steals. Guard Kellie Rietveld grabbed the most boards, with seven total rebounds to go along with her four points.

“Today we played as a team,” Rietveld said. “We’ve been struggling with that for the last couple of games.”

With the close finish in the previous home game against Lake Superior State on Jan. 15, Rietveld thought the experience on the court gave the Wildcats the win.

“It’s nice when you have seniors on the floor,” Rietveld said. “When (Stoeger and Powers) are with me on the floor, we all trust each other. When you’ve been in this situation before, there’s not as much pressure.”

However, that time ended with 4:21 left in the first half against Northwood. The Wildcats were in the process of mauling the Timberwolves, with their 39-12 lead showing the effectiveness of the fast-moving offense. But then, Northwood head coach Jeff Curtis enacted a 1-3-1 defensive zone that held the Wildcats scoreless for the rest of the first half.

“It was the first time we have seen (the defensive zone) this year,” Campbell said. “We got our open looks, but we couldn’t hit our shots.”

The 1-3-1 defensive zone is when a team has one defender at the top of the key, three defenders near the free throw line and one defender in the paint. The system is mostly designed to cause turnovers from bad passes and shot attempts. The ’Cats fell into the trap, as they committed 13 turnovers in the 24 minutes after the 1-3-1 zone was enacted.

“We tried to gap their press and (pass the ball) out for the three, but we couldn’t make our shots,” Campbell said.

The 27-point comeback set a new NCAA Division II record, surpassing the previous record of 24, held by Cal Poly Pomona in 2000 and Lenoir Rhyne (N.C.) in 2006.

The Wildcats will try to rebound today with a win in -Detroit, as they will face the Wayne State Warriors (5-13, 5-7 GLIAC South). The Warriors won their last game against the Lake Erie Storm 66-60, but have won only two of their last eight.

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