Mattson: ‘We’re ready to bounce back’

Ray Bressette

The Wildcats face rival Michigan Tech at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3 following games against Lake Superior State University and Northwood University.

The ’Cats are on a three-game losing streak after dropping two on the road over the weekend.

They lost to Saginaw Valley State University, 71-68, Thursday, Jan. 23. Senior forward Annie Rubendunst led the ’Cats with 18 points.

NMU then fell to the Wayne State Warriors, 75-72, Saturday, Jan. 25, in Detroit.

Head coach Troy Mattson said he thinks the team has experienced their worst stretch.

“We’re ready to bounce back,” Mattson said. “I can tell by the look in the girls’ eyes we’re ready to get back on the winning trail.”

The Wildcats host LSSU at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at Berry Events Center.

The Lakers, ninth in conference, head into Thursday’s game 4-8, 4-14 overall. The Lakers lost their last three games.

Junior guard Stephanie Fisher leads LSSU in scoring, averaging 11.8 points per game.

Rubendunst said the ’Cats are focusing on snapping the team’s losing skid.

“I think we just need to come really focused,” Rubendunst said. “We know what’s at stake and we know we need the win. We’re playing teams that we know we can beat, so we’re preparing.”

The ’Cats continue their home series at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 against the Northwood Timberwolves. Northwood is fourth in conference, right behind NMU. Both teams have an 8-4 conference record.

The Timberwolves ride a five-game win streak with junior guard Gabrielle Rivette and junior guard/forward Sarah Susan averaging 14.4 points per game.

Mattson said the ’Cats  will be able to match up with the streaking Timberwolves.

“Northwood is the hottest team in the league right now,” Mattson said. “They’re similar to us and they’re starting to play well right now. We have to make it a tough weekend for them.”

The Wildcats travel to take on the Michigan Tech Huskies  Monday, Feb. 3, in Houghton. The Huskies (10-2) are ahead of NMU in the GLIAC standings by two games.

“You’re going to get fired up for this game no matter what,” Mattson said. “A little more goes into this game, but these girls have all played in this game many times. It’s just a matter of somebody’s going to have to play well up there, and hopefully it’ll be our team and not theirs.”

Tech comes off two road-trip losses to SVSU and Wayne State University last weekend.

The Huskies have three players averaging double-digit points per game, including sophomore guard Mackenzie Perttu with 13.8 points, sophomore guard Danielle Blake with 12.4 points and sophomore forward Kylie Moxley with 12.1 points.

Rubendunst will take her final trip to Michigan Tech as a Wildcat on Monday

“This is a pretty big rivalry,” Rubendunst said. “This game is huge in the standings. We want to beat them, and we know we need to beat them. It’s our biggest rival, and we’re going to come and play our hardest to finish on top.”