Women’s basketball claims share of GLIAC North title

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The SVSU women’s basketball team clinched at least a share of the 2016-2017 GLIAC North Division Championship last weekend with a 60-51 victory over Lake Superior State University on Feb. 16.

After losing Feb. 18 against Northwood University 65-62, the team’s overall record heading into the final game of the regualar season is 20-6, with a 16-4 GLIAC conference record.

The victory over LSSU also gave the Lady Cardinals their second-straight season with 20 wins for the first time in almost 30 years. The milestone was last achieved with the 1986-1987 and 1987-1988 seasons.

The Cardinals scored the first few points of the game and did not let up for the full 40 minutes. The team led the entire game, and LSSU was forced to play catchup to no avail.

The team shot 22-53 from the field and 16-20 from the free-throw line. They missed all eight of their three-point attempts. LSSU shot 19-47 from the field and went 3-11 from beyond the arc.

Emily Wendling led the team in scoring, posting a game-high 23 points in 20 minutes of playing time. The senior forward went 9-14 from the field and grabbed six rebounds in the process. She also went 5-5 from the charity stripe, increasing her school record of free-throws made.

Sophomore guard Anna Hall added six of her own points. She also added four boards and three assists to her stat line.

Forward Abby Duffy led the bench in scoring. She was the only other Cardinal to score in double digits, scoring 10 points in 24 minutes. The sophomore shot 5-7 from the field and had two steals.

With eight points and six rebounds, Halee Nieman used the most of her 24 minutes. The sophomore forward went 1-8 from the field, but she was efficient from the free-throw line, making six of her seven attempts.

After the game, head coach Jamie Pewinski said the team fought hard for the GLIAC North, and it is well deserved.

“(It feels) great,” Pewinski said. “We’ve been building to this and building to this, and just hoping to get it shored up (Thursday) and not have to wait until Saturday. … The team is extremely happy, and they should be.”

The Cardinals welcomed Northwood on Saturday for Senior Day and Breast Cancer Survivor Recognition day.

The team started off hot, outscoring the Timberwolves 20-8 in the first quarter. However, the Timberwolves outplayed SVSU late to earn a comeback victory. With 59 seconds left, a three-point play put the Timberwolves up by two points, and they ultimately hung on 65-62.

The Cardinals shot 40 percent from the field and 36 percent from the three-point line. Northwood shot 42 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc.

All five seniors got the start for the team: Emily Wendling, Grace Whelan, Abby Schlicher, Katelyn Carriere, and Shelby Weeks.

Wendling led all players with 21 points and a game-high eight rebounds. She made seven of her 11 shot attempts, including one three-point shot. She also went 6-8 from the free-throw line.

Carriere was the other Lady Cardinal in double-digits with 18 points. The guard shot 5-16 from the field and grabbed five rebounds. She also had career-high three blocks. Carriere scored the final nine points for the Cardinals in the last 30 seconds of the game. She made two three-point shots and went 3-3 from the foul-line in that time.

Nieman added seven points of her own and four rebounds.

The Lady Cardinals conclude regular season play on Thursday, Feb. 23 with a road game against Wayne State University. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.