MIDLAND, MICH. – The Northwood University women's basketball team secures a spot in the GLIAC Tournament with a 78-73 overtime win on senior day against Lake Superior State on Thursday evening (February 27).
Northwood finishes the regular season 18-10 overall, 14-8 in the GLIAC. That ties for second in school history with the most wins in a season. This is also a team with the second most GLIAC wins in a season. LSSU falls to 7-19 overall, 3-19 in the GLIAC.
The five seniors that played in their final game at the Bennett Sports Center were Jade Ledy (Marquette, Mich.), Sarah Susan (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Byron Center), Kaitlin Susan (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Byron Center), Gabrielle Rivette (Fenton, Mich.) and Aleigha Wylie (Hemlock, Mich. / Midland). This was also the final game for senior Megan Grimes. After injuries ended her playing career Grimes joined the coaching staff as a student assistant coach.
The Timberwolves jumped out to an early three-point lead in the opening five minutes but a quick five-point swing gave the Lakers momentum throughout the remainder of the half. LSSU led by as many as seven in the opening period before taking a 30-27 advantage at halftime. Lake Superior State shot 48.0 percent from the floor in the half (12-25) compared to Northwood at 37.5 percent (9-24).
The Lakers came out strong in the second half, opening up a seven point lead (37-30) at the 16:30 mark. NU then went on an 11-0 run to claim a 41-37 advantage with 11:30 to go in regulation. The Timberwolves held led by as many as eight throughout the next ten minutes, before the Lakers fought back to pull ahead 59-58. With the game tied and six seconds on the clock, senior Gabrielle Rivette knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Timberwolves a 62-60 lead. Lake Superior State would go the length of the court for a layup just before the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime. Northwood shot 42.3 percent in the second half on 11-of-26 shooting, while LSSU finished the period at 30.4 percent (7-23).
Despite making just one basket in extra time, NU controlled the tempo and converted on 13-of-16 free throws to earn the win. Rivette went 6-6 from the line in overtime to seal the deal for the Timberwolves.
For the game, Northwood shot 38.9 percent from the floor (21-54) while LSSU finished at 39.0 percent (23-59). NU out-scored the Lakers 34-23 from the foul line as the Timberwolves were 34-43 for the game.
Three Timberwolves finished in double figures, led by freshman Maddy Seeley (Alma, Mich.) with 18 points. Rivette finished with 16 points, six assists and five rebounds with zero turnovers in 41 minutes of play. Jordyn Nurenberg (St. Johns, Mich.) added 12 points and four rebounds, going 10-12 from the free throw line.
Northwood will open the GLIAC Tournament on the road at Ashland Wednesday night (March 4). Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.