Leading rebounder on NMU women’s basketball team remains out

MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team will be without its leading rebounder, freshman Nea Makela, for the second-straight weekend when it hosts Saginaw Valley State tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Wayne State at 1 p.m. on Saturday in GLIAC play at the Berry Events Center.

The Wildcats (8-6 overall, 5-5 in GLIAC) were without Makela, who averages six rebounds per game, last weekend in a pair of GLIAC losses at Grand Valley State, 58-48, and Ferris State, 47-46. Makela had an MRI on Monday on her injured leg and is awaiting a decision on whether she can return this season.

Makela was averaging 9.2 points per game before being injured, which is third behind sophomore Lauren Gruber’s 12.4 points and sophomore Alyssa Colla’s 10.5 points per game.

SVSU (6-7 overall, 4-5 in GLIAC) is a game back of NMU in the North Division after defeating Lake Superior State, 68-52, and losing to Wayne State 63-48, the week before.

The Cardinals are led by Emily Wendling, who averages 15.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. She is one of three Cardinals averaging double digits in scoring, including Samantha Zirzow with 11.3 and Kristen Green at 11.2 points per night.

WSU (9-4 overall, 8-2 in GLIAC) sits second in the GLIAC North just a half game back of North leader Ferris State (9-4 overall, 8-2 in GLIAC). Besides topping SVSU, the Warriors beat Northwood 74-60 last week.

Talisha Bridges leads WSU in scoring with 15.1 points per game while also averaging 6.5 rebounds per outing. Pheabre Colbert leads the Warriors in rebounding, averaging 7.5 to go with her 11.2 points per night average.