MIDLAND, MICH. – The Northwood University women's basketball team opened North Division league play with an 80-72 loss to Hillsdale on Thursday evening (January 15) at the Bennett Sports Center.
The Timberwolves fall to 10-5 on the year, 6-3 in the GLIAC. Hillsdale stands at 9-4 overall, 5-4 in the GLIAC.
Both teams battled from the very beginning, with four ties and three lead changes in the opening 7:30. From there Northwood took a five point lead at 17-12 with 11:16 on the clock before holding a 17-14 lead from 10:01 to 6:43. Both teams went scoreless for almost four minutes before Hillsdale eventually took a 20-19 advantage with 5:24 to go in the half. From there, the Chargers took over and scored 19 of the next 25 points to close out the half with a 39-25 lead.
Hillsdale shot 13 of 26 from the floor in the first half, good for 50.0 percent, and 11-13 from the FT line (84.6 percent). Northwood shot just 27.3 percent on 9 of 33 from the floor. The Timberwolves did cause 13 Hillsdale turnovers but got out-rebounded 25-13 in the opening 20 minutes.
The Chargers extended the lead to as many as 20 points throughout the second half, before NU started chipping away at the lead. Northwood was within nine points with 0:46 to go, but would get no closer than seven after Ashley Campbell (Oregon, Ind. / Oregon-Davis) hit her first career three-pointer to cut the lead to 79-72. Hillsdale finished out the game with free throws to put away an 80-72 win.
Field goal percentage was a big key to the game, as both teams made a similar amount of field goals (NU: 24, HC: 25) Northwood took more than 20 more attempts (NU: 69, HC: 45). The Timberwolves finished shooting 34.8 percent (24-69) and the Charges finished at 55.6 percent (25-45). NU forced 26 Hillsdale turnovers.
For the game, four Timberwolves finished in double-figures. Sarah Susan (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Byron Center) led all scorers with 20 points on 7-17 shooting, to go with four steals. Her sister, Kaitlin Susan (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Byron Center), added a game-high 13 rebounds and four steals. Gabrielle Rivette (Fenton, Mich.) finished with 13 points, four assists and two steals, while Lauren Robak (Clarkston, Mich. / Our Lady of the Lakes) and Maddy Seeley (Alma, Mich.) added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Northwood travels to Saginaw Valley to play in the new James E. O'Neil Jr. Arena on Saturday (January 17). Women tip off at 5 p.m. and the men follow at 7 p.m.