Women face GLIAC opponents

Ray Bressette

The women’s basketball team will open conference play against six GLIAC opponents over winter break, following a win at home against the No. 12-ranked Lewis Flyers and a loss to No. 14-ranked Concordia-St. Paul.womensbball

NMU defeated Lewis University 75-66 Sunday, Nov. 22 at Berry Events Center. The ’Cats jumped out to a 7-0 first-half lead and were able to maintain the lead throughout the entire game.

Five players score in double digits, including junior guard Lauren Gruber (16), sophomore forward Nea Makela (11), junior guard Alyssa Colla (11), sophomore guard Anna Liewen (10) and junior forward Brooke Coenen (10).

NMU fell 75-60 to Concordia-St. Paul Wednesday, Nov. 26 in St. Paul, Minn.  Despite out-rebounding Concordia 49-36, the No. 14-ranked competitor handed the ’Cats their first loss of the season to close out nonconference play. Colla and junior forward Abbey DeBruin led the ’Cats in scoring with 11 points. Liewen led NMU in rebounds with 10.

Head coach Troy Mattson said he’s happy with the play of DeBruin over the last few games.

“Abbey’s really been a solid player for us so far this season,” Mattson said. “If she wasn’t caught up in some foul trouble in a few games, she would have had some great nights for us. She’s really helping this team perform well.”

The Wildcats will host the Walsh University Cavaliers at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1 in Berry Events Center. The Cavaliers are coming into the game after an 87-76 win over Maryville University Saturday, Nov. 16.

NMU will take on Malone at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 in Berry Events Center. Malone took a 78-70 win over the Ursuline College Arrows Thursday, Nov. 27 and sits with a record of 4-0.

The ’Cats will then hit the road for two games before their break. They will travel to Findlay, Ohio to take on the Findlay Oilers at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. NMU will then take on the Hillsdale Chargers at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 in Hillsdale Michigan. Freshman guard Karli Bonar of Findlay averages 16 points per game. Junior forward Megan Fogt is leading Hillsdale, with 20.8 per game.

DeBruin said she feels the team focuses better over winter break from class.

“The break usually helps us bond more as a team,” DeBruin said. “We’re here with each other and we don’t have anything to do but go to practice and focus on our play.”

After the team’s break, the ’Cats will host two games against the Tiffin University Dragons at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2 and the Ohio Dominican Panthers at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7. Panthers freshman guard Tori Beth Leader is averaging 13.5 points per game.

The Wildcats will hit the road once more for a pair of games at Ashland University against the Eagles at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, and the Lake Erie Storm in Painesville, Ohio at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11.

DeBruin said the team is confident heading into the GLIAC portion of their schedule.

“We should be able to get a lot of wins in our conference,” DeBruin said. “We have to play well and to the best of our ability every game. It’s going to take a lot of focus on defense and a lot of attention on going out and playing tough.”