NMU Women Grind Out 50-48 Win Over Crookston
Click the thumbnails to see photos and video highlights, and to listen to post-game comments from Makaylee Kuhn and Coach Tory Mattson.
MARQUETTE---The Northern Michigan University women's basketball team overcame a night of poor shooting and pulled out a 50-48 win over the University 0f Minnesota-Crookston Thursday night at the Berry Events Center.
Makaylee Kuhn led the way with 16 points and 12 rebounds, but the 'Cats were otherwise inconsistent, making only 20-of-60 shots from the floor, including 5-of-32 three-pointers.
"To be honest with you, we were terrible," NMU Coach Troy Mattson said. "We were out-defended, out-rebounded, and offensively, we were just brutal.That's just being honest. But you know what? At the end of the year, nobody's going to look back and say 'what happened in Crookston'? Well, we won. We're not giving it back."
"It definitely was not pretty, but we came out with the win," Kuhn said. "I just have to give credit to all of my teammates. We really stuck it out and that's all that matters. Three home wins and it's a good start. It definitely keeps us humble, I guess. Keeps us with our eyes focused forward."
Northern fell behind, 17-8, after the first quarter, before Kayla Tierney hit a pair of triples, and Kuhn and Elizabeth Lutz also made triples, to give NMU a 26-23 lead at halftime.
But NMU got five fouls in the first 4:30 of the third quarter, putting the Golden Eagles in the bonus and changing the way the Wildcats had to play the rest of that quarter. They fell behind again, 39-37, at the end of that quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Elena Alaix had a triple and was fouled on the play. The Wildcats also outrebounded the Golden Eagles, 13-6, in the fourth quarter, including several offensive rebounds in the final two minutes to extend Wildcat possessions.
They had to hang on, though, as Crookston's Jes Martens missed a jumper at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.
"Coach got on us a little bit at halftime about offrensive rebounds,: Kuhn said. "They box out, they're really good at defense, but we needed to get those extra possessions, and I think at the end of the game, we really did that, and that helped us come out with a win."
And now NMU plays its next five games on the road.
"We can't play like that," Mattson said. "The people coming off the bench have to be better. Our starters have got to be better. I expect them to and we'll try to learn from the film. We don't have much time for a turnaround (6 a.m. bus ride Friday to Minnesota). Five games on the road and I don't see an easy game out there. So, we're gonna have to play better."
Abigail Leach led Crookson (0-3) with nine points. Abi Fraaza had six points and 11 rebounds.
Emily Mueller had nine points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats.