W Basketball: ‘Cats look to snap Tech’s 12-game home win streak


Chris Anderson/NW

LAY UP – NMU Forward Elena Alaix goes up for the and-1 against Purdue-NW last Saturday. NMU won the game 84-78.

Chris Anderson

Women’s basketball had a huge weekend coming away with two key wins and a conference tournament berth. Last Thursday NMU faced off against the UW-Parkside Rangers and with 22 points, four assists and nine rebounds from junior guard Makaylee Kuhn, the ‘Cats came away with a 73-67 win over the Rangers.

“We just got to keep on putting up points,” Head Coach Casey Thousand said. “That’s when it’s fun, that’s when it’s exciting, and that’s what we want to do.”

NMU’s bench contributed 25 points on the night showing just how well this team is starting to connect down the stretch. The Wildcats were able to follow up the big win over Parkside with another single digit win over Purdue-NW strengthening their chances of being the fourth seed in the GLIAC.

“I think we’re adjusting a little bit and we’re making those adjustments throughout the game,” Thousand said. “But also, just our players and what they’re doing on the court is getting us to be successful, which is huge.”

The Pride attempted to make a comeback after being down five in the first quarter, but NMU ultimately took the win 65-61. Kuhn had another huge game with 31 points and seven rebounds for the ‘Cats shooting over 50% from the field in back-to-back nights.

A main goal for coach Thousand and the team over the past few weeks has been for everyone to get comfortable shooting the ball. They have continued to work on shooting throughout the season and lately, that has really shown on the scoreboard and in the win column. For the first time since 2015, the ‘Cats are averaging over 60 points per game.

“You kind of have to figure out who’s got the hot hand that day and who’s going to get a little bit more minutes,” Thousand said. “But they’re ready to go which is a good thing here coming down the stretch.”

With the Michigan Tech Huskies — 22-5, 14-3 GLIAC — sitting at second place in the GLIAC and twenty-fourth overall in the national polls, the ‘Cats will have their hands full on the road this weekend. NMU has dropped the last 12 matchups against the Huskies, but with how far the team has come this year with Thousand as the head coach, NMU and the fans are excited for not only this matchup but for the future of the program.

“Our conference is really good. You’re going into battle; it’s going to be tough and it’s not going to be easy,” Thousand said. “We know that going in and we just have to have the tough mentality and see what happens on Saturday.”

NMU — 15-11, 10-7 GLIAC — was picked to finish seventh in the league in the preseason polls, and with a win over Tech this weekend they could have a chance at finishing fourth overall in the GLIAC heading into the conference tournament. They are a half game behind Saginaw Valley, 15-11, 10-6 GLIAC, for fourth place.