FSU women come up short

MARQUETTE — A quick start led Northern Michigan over Ferris State in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball action on Saturday as the host Wildcats pulled out a 67-52 win.

Northern Michigan jumped to a 33-23 halftime lead and pushed the advantage to 19 points early in the second half before the Bulldogs mounted a comeback. Ferris cut the margin down to seven points, but could get no closer.

Ferris, which dropped its third-straight game, fell to 7-6 overall and 5-5 in league play while Northern improved to 8-6 overall and 6-4 in conference action.

Junior center Christina Branch scored a team-high 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Bulldogs in the setback with senior center Hannah Hoffman adding 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

However, Northern Michigan received 21 points from guard Alyssa Colla along with 19 points from Lauren Gruber in earning the win.

FSU finished shooting 35.7 percent for the game and was only four-of-14 (28.6 percent) from three-point range along with eight-of-10 (80 percent) at the three-point stripe.

The Wildcats on the opposite side shot 51.4 percent overall and connected on 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) threes to go with 19-of-23 (82.6 percent) free throws.

The Bulldogs did own a 31-24 rebounding edge and came up with 13 offensive boards to only one for Northern Michigan, leading to an 11-2 margin in second chance production.

Northern Michigan forced 18 FSU turnovers and posted a 24-18 advantage in points off miscues while coming up with seven steals. They added eight blocked shots on the defensive end. The Wildcats finished with 16 turnovers of their own.

Ferris State totaled 11 assists, including three each from Hoffman and sophomore guard Ally Christman, in addition to 10 steals and five blocks. Hoffman had three blocks while junior guard Dena Droste totaled three steals to lead Ferris.

Overall, the Wildcats had 14 assists, including seven from Gruber. Nea Makela led NMU with three blocks while Bre Gaspervich had three steals.

Northern Michigan scored first and never trailed in the contest as it led for nearly 37 minutes of
action.

Ferris did outscore the Wildcats 24-8 in the paint and received 21 points off the bench compared to only six for the hosts.

Ferris State returns home to begin a three-game homestand at Jim Wink Arena. Ferris hosts Northwood on Thursday with tipoff set for 6 p.m. in Big Rapids before entertaining Lake Superior State on Saturday beginning at
1 p.m.

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