Rough Third Quarter Dooms NMU At Ferris State
This story was written by NMU Sports Information. Click the AUDIO button to hear RRN interview with Wildcat Coach Casey Thousand.
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. - The Northern Michigan women's basketball team found themselves on the wrong end of a 30-8 third quarter as the Wildcats fell just short at No. 7 Ferris State, 71-66, on Thursday evening at Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids.
It was a tale of the middle two quarters as Northern outscored the Bulldogs 19-6 in the second frame to hold an impressive 40-26 halftime lead. It was shortlived, as Ferris came out firing in the third, notching its second highest single-quarter output on the season (30 points) to hold an eight-point lead over the 'Cats heading to the fourth. Despite closing it to one-possession a couple of times, the NMU rally wasn't quite able to come full circle.
Jacy Weisbrod led the way with 17 points, shooting 7-15 from the floor. Sarah Newcomer was immediately in the rearview, tacking on 16 on a 6-11 clip. Makaylee Kuhn added another 10 and led the way on the glass with seven boards. FSU's Chloe Idoni presented a problem in the paint all night for the Wildcats, as she led all scorers with 25.
In a game that looked similar across the stat sheet, the Bulldogs had the advantage in fastbreak points (12-0) and points in the paint (38-28).
The loss drops the Wildcats to a tie for fourth place in league standings at 6-4, while they hold a 12-7 overall record. The nationally-ranked Bulldogs improved to 9-1 in GLIAC bouts and 15-2 overall.
Jacy Weisbrod opened up the scoring with a contested double-clutch jumper for the 'Cats. That opened the floodgates for a high-scoring first quarter. Although the first bucket for the Bulldogs didn't come until 3:30 in, its offense was able to turn it on quickly.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 14-11 lead that led to an NMU timeout, but Weisbrod countered for the 'Cats, knocking in a triple late in the quarter to regain the advantage. An abundance of back-and forth late led to a 21-20 Northern lead going to the second. Weisbrod shot a fiery 4-5 from the floor for nine points in the opening 10 minutes.
Much like the 'Cats did in its last road game at Parkside, it was a commanding second quarter for the visitors. Northern's defense held FSU to an 0-11 start from the field before they finally got on the board three minutes before halftime. In that stretch, the Green and Gold started the frame on an 11-0 run to lead 32-20. The Ferris offense started to click and was able to score on three straight trips down the floor, but that didn't phase NMU.
Northern continued to build its lead as the half closed, holding a 40-26 lead after 20 minutes.
The 'Cats dominated the second to a 19-6 advantage. Weisbrod (11) and Sarah Newcomer (9) led the way, combining for 20 points on 8-12 shooting.
The No. 7 ranked Bulldogs didn't let its start to the previous two quarters carry over into the second half. Just three minutes out of intermission, Ferris notched a sudden 12-0 run to make it a one possession game, 40-38.
To the dismay of the Green and Gold, getting back into the game wasn't enough for Ferris as they continued to ride the momentum to a 56-48 lead heading to the fourth. Ferris poured in 30 points in the frame while holding Northern to just eight.
Facing a double-digit deficit on the road in the final quarter, the 'Cats continued to battle. A Weisbrod connection from beyond the arc made it 62-60 with five minutes left. After Ferris stretched its lead back to seven, NMU battled back yet again to make it a one-point game with 20 seconds to go.
The rally couldn't quite come full-circle, however, as the Bulldogs went 2-2 from the charity stripe and Weisbrod had her first triple attempt blocked and the following fall short on NMU's possession. Ferris put the game on ice at the FT line with seconds left, holding on for a 71-66 win.
The Wildcats finish off the weekend swing on the north side of the Mighty Mac. Northern will clash with the Lake Superior State Lakers on Saturday, February 3rd at 1 p.m.