NMU women’s basketball team in the hunt for GLIAC tourney spot

MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team looks to take a step closer to a spot in the GLIAC tournament with a pair of game downstate tonight at Saginaw Valley State and Saturday at Wayne State.

The Wildcats and Cardinals tip off at 8 p.m. in University Center, while the tilt with the Warriors in Detroit is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Northern sits in a three-way tie for the final spot in the GLIAC playoffs with Malone and SVSU, who are all 8-9 in conference play.

Northern (11-10 overall) lost to Malone early in the season, but defeated the Cardinals (11-10 overall) 67-57 in Marquette on Jan. 17 behind 20 points from sophomore guard Alyssa Colla and 14 from sophomore guard Lauren Gruber.

Colla is averaging 12.7 points per game; Gruber is averaging 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest.

Emily Wendling leads the Cardinals in scoring, averaging 15.7 points per game. She posted 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field in the loss at NMU.

The Wildcats fell 63-59 to the North Division-leading Warriors (15-5 overall, 13-3 in GLIAC) in Marquette on Jan. 19 after leading 25-22 at halftime.

Colla and Gruber both posted 15 points for NMU, while Juanita Cochran of Wayne State led all scorers with 20 points.

Cochran is averaging 10.9 points per game for Wayne State, which has won six-straight games.

Paige Sickmiller is averaging 13.8 points per game and Talisha Bridges leads all Warriors in scoring, averaging 15.7 points per contest.

Including tonight and Saturday’s GLIAC contests, NMU has five games remaining in the regular season to secure a spot in the GLIAC tournament.

Northern hosts Lake Superior State and Northwood next weekend in Marquette before closing the season on March 2 at Michigan Tech.

Northern dropped both games a week ago, falling 67-56 to Grand Valley State and 73-70 in overtime to Ferris State.