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Wednesday May 22, 2024
NMU Ladies Push Past Ferris; #1 Grand Valley Next

This story was written by NMU Sports  Information

ALLENDALE, Mich. -
The Northern Michigan women's basketball team defeated the Ferris State Bulldogs 63-56 in the GLIAC semifinal on Saturday evening to advance to the GLIAC Championship for the first time since 2018-19. 

The Wildcats got contributions all across the board as Jacy Weisbrod led the way with 16 points, eight of which came in the first four minutes of play to get the ball rolling for the Green and Gold. Sarah Newcomer followed right behind with 15, as she hit timely bucket time and time again to keep the Wildcats ahead throughout the second half. Abi Fraaza was dominant off the bench, pulling down 11 boards to go along with seven points. 

Jacy hit the only two field goals for NMU in the first quarter as they went 2-15 and ended 0-10. Trailing 14-10 heading into the second, the script flipped, as the Bulldogs missed their first 10 shots allowing a 15-1 start to the quarter for the 'Cats. The Bulldogs did get the last eight, but NMU carried a 25-23 lead into the break. Three of NMU's seven triples came in the second, with two coming in stepback variety from Mackenzie Holzwart.

In yet another flip of the script, the first eight out of halftime went to NMU to lead 33-23. The Bulldogs chipped away, but the 'Cats still maintained a 43-38 advantage after three. 

The Bulldogs seem to come out clicking in the fourth, but Northern was unwavered, going blow-for-blow with the nationally-ranked No. 10 Bulldogs. Newcomer hit a big three to go up by nine, and Fraaza continued to dominate the glass to help propel NMU to a signature win. 

NMU has advanced to the GLIAC Championship and will take on host and No. 1 seed Grand Valley State on Sunday, March 10 at 3 p.m. It's been 10 years since Northern Michigan has raised the postseason hardware, last winning the conference tournament title in 2013-14 over Wayne State. 

Northern defeated Wayne State 51-48 in the quarterfinals and took down Ferris State 63-56 in Saturday's semifinal to reach the championship tilt. Grand Valley managed Purdue Northwest in its quarterfinal and followed it up with a victory over Parkside in the semifinal. 

Northern has dropped the last 11 in the series, but took Grand Valley to overtime less than two weeks ago, ultimately falling 74-67. 

Makaylee Kuhn was stellar in the game, scoring 27 points on 11-19 shooting, with 17 of those coming in the second half and overtime. The Wildcats found themselves down much of the night, but continued to chip away and finally pulled even on the last bucket of regulation, a three-point splash from Kuhn with eight seconds left, sending the game to an extra session knotted at 58 apiece. 

The Lakers scored the first four in the bonus five minutes and didn't look back. GVSU's Rylie Bisballe paced the Laker attack with 28 points. 
  • The Wildcats are ranked at No. 4 in the latest Midwest Regional poll.
  • In the last nine games, NMU has averaged 67.4 points/game while allowing just 57.2. 
  • Senior Makaylee Kuhn is second in the conference averaging 17.3 ppg and is fifth at 6.8 rpg. She has scored in double figures in all but three games this season and has averaged 18.8 ppg over the last nine. Being named First Team All-GLIAC on Friday, she is a four-time All-GLIAC First Teamer. Kuhn is NMU's all-time leading scorer with 1,973 career points.
  • Sophomore guard Jacy Weisbrod is averaging 12.5 points/game this season, a top-10 conference mark. She is far-and-away the conference leader in threes, connecting on 79-194 (40.7%). She has made at least one in all 28 of her games this season and has connected on 5+ an outstanding six times. Weisbrod was recently named to the All-GLIAC Second Team.
  • Ana Rhude has been a force in the paint, rejecting 41 shots this season (second in the league). Over the last four, she is averaging an eye-popping 3.3 blocks/game. Her 136 career blocks is currently tied for the all-time program record (Jessica Schultz)
  • Northern leads the GLIAC in fewest turnovers/game (12.0), which is the third best mark in the country.

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