Women’s basketball team hosts critical division games

Lauren Lee

The women’s basketball team will finish a four game homestand this weekend when they welcome in the Grand Valley State University Lakers and Ferris State Bulldogs.

After dropping a 72-66 home game to Ashland University Thursday, Jan. 8, the Wildcats pulled a 72-47 win against Lake Erie Storm Saturday, Jan. 10 at Berry Event Center.

Senior guard Sarah Miller said the ’Cats showed up with a better mindset Saturday.

“I think we just played more intense,” Miller said. “After [Ashland], we were upset with how we played. I think that we came out with more of an energy and were more ready to play from the first minute of the game, and that really showed.”

NMU started off with a 17-2 run to open the game and never let their lead slip away.

Sophomore guard Bre Gaspervich lead the game with 26 points and 13 rebounds getting five steals and three assists along the way.

The Wildcats wrapped up the game outscoring Storm 30-14 in the paint and shooting 25-52 from the field, while Lake Erie shot 17-59.

Senior guard Alyssa Colla left Saturday’s game with an ankle injury and did not return. Colla will be a gametime decision for Grand Valley on Thursday. Colla is ranked second in the GLIAC in points per game averaging 18.8.

The ’Cats are now ranked fifth in the GLIAC with a conference record of 5-3 and 7-5 overall.

NMU will face GVSU at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 at Berry Event Center.

Gaspervich said the team will look to carry momentum from last weekend.

“We need to take it game by game just see if we can keep going with a good start,” Gaspervich said. “I’m expecting we’re going to come out with the same intensity we did in the game against Lake Erie and just a win over a division opponent.”

The Lakers enter the weekend with a 6-2 conference record, 9-3 overall and sit in second place in the GLIAC.

Senior forward Kat LaPrairie for the Lakers is ranked second in the GLIAC for three-pointers averaging 47.4 this season.

The ’Cats will face Ferris State at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17 at the Berry Event Center.

The Bulldogs are currently one spot above the Wildcats in the GLIAC, ranked third with a conference record of 5-3 and 7-4 overall.

Junior forward and center Christina Branch for the Bulldogs is ranked second for field goals averaging 64.9.

NMU head coach Troy Mattson said Saturday’s game against Ferris will be an important game for the division.

“It’s going to be a North Division battle,” Mattson said. “Both teams are up in the top of the standings. We are quite familiar with our opponent as to how to defend them and vice versa. They’ll have a good understanding how to defend us, but it should be a good game just from the standpoint of the competitiveness, the size of the teams and the athleticism of the teams are very similar.”