Gaspervich’s double-double tops Bulldogs for season sweep

Ray Bressette

 

Junior guard Bre Gaspervich’s leadership role has come into form during the middle of a three-games in five-day stretch for the Wildcats.

After a heroic game-winning layup to down the Michigan Tech Huskies Monday, Gaspervich returned Saturday finishing the week posting a double-double against the Ferris State Bulldogs to lift her ’Cats to a 59-49 GLIAC win.

With an early start, Gaspervich said the ’Cats knew what was expected of them coming out the shoot.

“We knew we had the advantage playing at 11 a.m. when we could in our own beds and Ferris was on the road,” Gaspervich said. “Playing aggressive and getting rebounds as soon as they hit were huge. They were a little bit slower since they didn’t have as many players as us. We tried to keep together as a team.”

The Bulldogs ran with the ’Cats the majority of the first three quarters, getting double-digit scores from sophomore forward Rachel McInerney, senior forward Alexis Huntey and freshman guard Alexis Bush off the bench.

But Ferris could not contain Gaspervich from beyond the three-point line, where she converted her highest percentage of the season going 6-9 from the distance.

A Gaspervich-three tapped off a 7-0 run to end the third quarter that flipped a tied game into a 43-36 lead.

After a comeback win against Ferris in Big Rapids last month, NMU head coach Troy Mattson said he knew the Bulldog’s abilities on their offensive attacks.

“My biggest plan was to play aggressive with [Ferris],” Mattson said. “They have a tendency to be an offensive threat when there’s no aggressive pressure. I don’t know how much energy we had left, but we kept the turnovers down and were able to pull it out.”

Freshman center Taylor Hodell dropped nine points from the bench.

Senior Kendall Martenet started at forward Saturday, and brought in six rebounds while scoring eight points in the victory.

Martenet said when the ’Cats got low in the paint, the aggressiveness of both sides picked up and became a tough adjustment.

“Neither [Hodell] or I were comfortable at first, they were swiping at us and we had to work harder to make the right reads and get it  out to the open players.”

NMU topped off the week winning two of three games, pulling their record above .500 at 9-8 to stay in the thick of the playoff hunt with the seventh seed Northwood Timberwolves (9-7), and the eighth seed Findlay Oilers (8-8) who both play conference matchups Saturday afternoon.

The ’Cats will hit the road next weekend to play the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11 followed by a visit to the Hillsdale-College Chargers at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13.

Gaspervich said her team will be ready to continue the postseason grind next weekend.

“We feel tired, but none of that matters,” Gaspervich said. “Everyone is going through the same stretch and feels the same thing. We’re all pushing for the playoffs and it’s going to be a grind these last few weeks.”