’Cats rematch GLIAC Championship opponent

Clairisa Laws

The NMU women’s basketball team begins conference play on the road this weekend against the Walsh University Cavaliers and the Malone University Pioneers.

The lady ’Cats lost an overtime home game against the No.14 ranked Concordia University 70-69 Sunday, Nov. 23.

Head coach Troy Mattson said he knew it was going to be a great basketball game against Concordia.

“We were executing and doing things right, just couldn’t make any shots and dug ourselves a 17 point deficit that went to 20,” Mattson said. “We started to play better in the second half and we played well.”

The Wildcats are 2-1 overall to start the season.

NMU will travel to Walsh to play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4 in Canton, Ohio. Last season, Thursday, Dec. 5 2013, the ‘Cats had a 76-74 victory over Walsh University.

Senior guard Sarah Miller said she is ready to start conference game season.

“We should be ready to step up and make shots and do everything right on defense,” Miller said. “Our upperclassmen know how to win a game, what it takes to win a game and do all the right things. I think we are ready for conference play and I am excited to see where it goes.”

NMU will continue their road trip visiting a familiar opponent in Malone at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 in Canton, Ohio.  Last season, the ’Cats defeated Malone in the GLIAC championship 53-49.

“We’re not going to win games until our people start playing better,” Mattson said. “Our top three players in (senior guard) Alyssa Colla, (senior forward) Abbey DeBruin and (senior guard) Lauren Gruber, our captains, have played unbelievably well, and I couldn’t be more happy with their performances on the court.”

Colla leads the ’Cats in scoring with 24 points per game. Senior center Courtney Lemmon said the team has been practicing hard.

“We’ve been working a lot on defense and we’re ready to go,” Lemmon said. “I am looking forward to getting back on the court with the team this week, and these games coming up are always close, but I think we are all ready to go out and get some wins.”