SURVIVE & ADVANCE: NMU Upends Wayne State

This story was written by NMU Sports Information. Click the AUDIO buton to hear Casey Ford's interview with Wildcat Coach Casey Thousand.

 Trailing 46-42 with less than three minutes to play, the Northern Michigan women's basketball team ended the game on a 9-2 run to defeat the Wayne State Warriors in the GLIAC Quarterfinals. The Wildcats have advanced to the semifinal round to take on No. 2 Ferris State on Saturday, March 9 in Allendale, Michigan. 

In what was a defensive battle, Mackenzie Holzwart provided a spark off the bench with 14 points to lead the way. She converted on 6-11 from the floor and added a notable four steals. Ana Rhude was an immovable force below the hoop with five blocks while Jacy Weisbrod cleaned up the glass with eight rebounds. WSU's Shea Tripp led all scorers with 20 points while Gabi Lutchka contributed 16.

It was a very slow start offensively for each side, with the score reading just 9-5 in favor of the Wildcats after one. The Warriors missed their first 12 shots and went just 1-14 (7.1%), but avoided falling in an early hole as Northern turned the ball over nine times in the opening 10 minutes. 

Each team found rhythm in the second, as the Warriors outscored NMU 18-14 for a 23-23 halftime deadlock. The Warriors flipped their script by shooting over 50% in the quarter, but the 'Cats cashed in on WSU turnovers to keep the game even. 

Out of intermission, the Warriors went on a 10-2 run to open up a 37-29 lead, the largest for either side on the night. Northern closed the quarter with eight of the final 10 to get right back in it, trailing 39-37. 

The offenses again lacked success in the final frame. The 'Cats started 0-5 before a Sarah Newcomer triple closed the scored to 42-40 nearing six minutes. Ana Rhude briefly tied the game following, but WSU scored the next four to lead 46-42 with less than four minutes left. 

That's when the home squad locked in on each side of the ball, scoring nine of the final 11 points on the night. A pair of free throws from Jacy Weisbrod gave NMU a four-point cushion with 26 seconds left and a 1-2 trip with seven seconds gave WSU a shot to tie at the horn, but the shot grazed off the iron. 

It is the first 20 win season for the Wildcats since 2018-19 as the win improves the overall record to 20-9. 

The Wildcats have advanced to the semifinal round to take on No. 2 Ferris State on Saturday, March 9 in Allendale, Michigan. Stay tuned to for the game time. The other semifinal matchup will include host and No. 1 seed Grand Valley State against No. 5 Parkside.

LISTEN: Casey Thousand post-game comments