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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Wildcats finish their roadtrip with tough loss

Marquette, Michigan native Amber Huebner fights for positioning against a Grand Valley State player in an ear- lier home game. She’ll help to spark a Wildcat win streak as the season starts winding down. Photo by: Lindsey Eatib

The season’s second chapter of the Northern Michigan Women’s Basketball team’s rivalry matchup with Michigan Tech University saw the Wildcats put up a good bid for an upset, but came up short as they were defeated 61-54.
“It wasn’t a bad match up for us. We played well against them up there, and here, it’s just that we missed a couple opportunities to score,” Wildcats head coach Troy Mattson said. “I was just proud of how well the girls handled the situation there.”

Junior guard Tess Weatherly said the team persevered despite the loss.

“We had a tough time scoring Inthe first quarter, but we picked it up in the second, third and fourth, just sticking to our gameplan,” Weatherly said. “It was a hard-fought battle, but we played a great game.”

Tech pulled out to an 8-2 lead in the early minutes. The Huskies would continue to pull away from NMU as they took 19-10 lead after the first quarter.

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Three point shooting was a struggle for both teams, as they combined to convert one three- point shot.

“How many games nowadays do you see one three-pointer made?” asked coach Sall. “We knew they were going to shoot from there so we defended the perimeter, and they matched our game plan.”

Down 23-12 in the second frame, Wildcats’ junior center Taylor Hodell and freshman guard Lexi Smith converted back- to-back layups to help tighten the game to five. Smith added an “and-one” basket to make it a three-point Husky lead, but Tech would head into halftime up 33-27.

With momentum going into the third quarter, Smith and sophomoreforwardErinHonkala made baskets in NMU’s first two possessions. Tech answered back, scoring seven straight points while limiting the Wildcats to three points heading into the fourth quarter.

Honkala’s layup and two freethrows reduced NMU’s defecit to six to start off the fourth quarter, but the Huskies responded with three straight shots to extend their lead with less than five minutes to play. The Wildcats weren’t able to tighten the game up, down by four with 1:22 left, before Tech pulled away and secured their victory 61-54.

Honkala finished with her fourth double-double of the season, recording 10 points and 14 rebounds, and Smith notched a team-leading 19 points.

Freshman guard Elizabeth Lutz said that the advice from her coaches and players about the rivalry made preparing and playing against the Huskies exciting.

“My coaches and teammates were telling me how much of a great atmosphere it is to play in. The band was really loud and road, the team is preparing to play six of their next eight games at the Berry Events Center.

Mattson said the team’s ready to play those remaining home games.

“With Feb. 1 coming up, the schedule finally flips into our favor, but we got to do something with that flip,” Mattson said.

Lutz said that she’s excited to be back for the home stretch.

“The community support is great. We love playing at home, everyone comes out and we’re looking forward to getting us some big wins,” Lutz said.

The Wildcats return home this weekend as they host the Purdue Northwest University Thursday night and Grand Valley State University on Saturday.

“By sticking to our gameplan, we hope to play well against Purdue. For Grand Valley, we’ll likely switch things up and earn a win since we took them to double OT last time,” Weatherly said.
With eight games remaining in the season, the Wildcats hold a 9-11 record and are 5-7 in conference games.

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