The SVSU women’s basketball team split a pair of conference road games last week, beating Northern Michigan on Thursday, Feb. 9, and falling to Michigan Tech on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Against Michigan Tech, senior forward Emily Wendling became the program’s all-time leader in free throws made, and she is closing in on the program’s all-time scoring record as well.
The Lady Cards now won 11 of their last 13 games, bringing their overall record to 19-5 and GLIAC record to 15-3.
On Thursday, SVSU defeated Northern Michigan 62-60.
Wendling led the charge on offense, scoring 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including 5-6 from the free-throw line. She also added a game-high seven rebounds.
Senior guard Katelyn Carriere and sophomore forward Halee Nieman were the other two Cardinals in double digits for scoring.
Carriere notched 10 points, making three of her four shots. She also went four for six from the charity stripe, including making a free throw that put the Lady Cardinals up two points with a few seconds remaining. She added three steals and three assists.
Nieman scored 12 points on 4-6 shooting. She made both of her three-point attempts.
Guard Hannah Settingsgaard anchored the defense. The sophomore had a career-high four steals in her 33 minutes of play.
After the game, head coach Jamie Pewinski said the team played well and fought hard for the road victory.
“We got a great effort tonight against a tough Northern Michigan team in a tough place to play,” Pewinski said. “We were forced to use some different lineups, but we just continued to work hard. Any road win in this conference is big, so we’re very excited to get this one.”
The team then traveled further north Saturday to take on Michigan Tech in Houghton, where the Lady Cardinals were beaten by the Huskies 82-57.
The team struggled from the field, making only 19 of its 55 shot attempts. As a unit, they shot 1-12 from beyond the arc. Michigan Tech, on the other hand, shot 11-19 from the three-point line and 27-59 from the field.
SVSU started off slow on the offensive side of the ball, getting outscored 20-9 in the first quarter. The Lady Cardinals then went into halftime down 44-27. The third quarter saw the team score 13 to the Huskies’ 15, but SVSU still struggled from the field. As a unit, they shot 2-12 in the quarter. The game was rounded out with Tech outscoring SVSU 23-17 in the final quarter.
The Cardinals also lost the battle of the boards, getting outrebounded 41-27.
Wendling again led the team in scoring, netting 27 points. She shot 8-13 from the field and a perfect 11-11 from the free-throw line.
Settingsgaard was the other Cardinal to score in double figures. She scored 11 points on three-of-eight shooting.
Wendling’s performance was her 14th game of the season with 20 or more points. Wendling became the school’s leader in free throws made, surpassing the previous record of 440. She also grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
“It feels really good to know that I have helped make a mark on this program and to help make this program a league leader again,” Wendling said.
Wendling’s 27 points brought her within 72 points of the record. She has 1,850 career points.
“To become the all-time leader would feel great, but I never would’ve been close to it without my coaches and teammates throughout my whole career,” she said.
On top of that, she was also named to the College Sports Information Directors of America’s Academic All-District Four Team. She holds a 3.94 cumulative GPA in occupational therapy while scoring 17.8 points per game.
The team continues GLIAC play in the Upper Peninsula with a game on Thursday, Feb. 16, against Lake Superior State at 5:30 p.m. The team returns home on Saturday, Feb. 18, for its final home game of the season against Northwood. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.
“We are just looking to take some big steps forward and start playing our best to finish out the season and play into March,” Wendling said. “We are going to keep focusing on playing together and focusing on defense. I think we still have our best basketball ahead of us.”