UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The SVSU women's basketball team hosted Northwood University on Saturday (Feb. 18) night in the team's final regular season home contest of the 2016-17 season. Despite holding a 15-point second quarter lead and 31-24 halftime edge, the Cardinals couldn't hold off the Timberwolves, who outscored SVSU 41-31 in the final two quarters to claim a 65-62 victory.
The Cardinals had a hot opening quarter, shooting 60.0% while holding Northwood to a 15.4% mark and outscoring the visitors by a 20-8 margin in the frame. SVSU scored the final eight points of the quarter, using two Grace Whelan free throws and three-point plays from Emily Wendling and Halee Nieman.
Wendling gave the home team the largest lead of the night at 15 points (25-10) after she connected on her first three-pointer of the season at the 8:28 marker of the second. The lead remained at double-digits when Halee Nieman made a free throw with 1:31 on the clock to make the count 31-21, but Northwood got a triple to make the score 31-24 heading into the half.
The Timberwolves drew closer and kept it close throughout the entire third quarter, but the Cardinals maintained the narrow lead and carried a 46-43 lead into the fourth quarter after Anna Hall made the front end of her two free throw tries with 42 seconds showing on the clock.
NU took its first lead of the game with 3:23 to play and the score 51-50. The visitors pushed it out to 58-50 with under a minute to play. A Wendling three-point play would cut into the deficit, as would two Katelyn Carriere three-pointers, which cut the NU lead to 59-56 and 61-59 at the 19 and 9 second marks, respectively. Trailing 63-59 with six seconds remaining, Carriere was put at the line after being fouled on a three attempt. She drained the trio of free throws, pulling the home squad to within a single point at 63-62 with two seconds remaining. Having to foul quickly, the Cards put NU on the line and it added two freebies, making the count 65-62. That's what the final would remain, as a last-second heave downcourt did not fall for SVSU's Carriere.
Inside the Boxscore
- Wendling had 21 points and eight boards for SVSU, both game-highs. She added a steal and block while earning Meijer Player of the Game plaudits.
- Carriere added 18 points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal and three blocks. The three blocks mark a new career-high for the senior.
- Nieman chipped-in with seven points, four boards and a pair of assists.
- Anna Hall had seven assists, three points and three rebounds. The seven helpers are a new career-high for the sophomore.
- The Cards outrebounded the Timberwolves by a 31-2 margin and had a 28-26 edge in points in the paint.
- SVSU's bench outscored the T-Woles as well, 19-14.
- It was senior night for the Cards, as the program honored Abby Schlicher, Katelyn Carriere, Shelby Weeks, Grace Wheland and Emily Wendling prior to the game.
From Head Coach Jamie Pewinski
"Obviously not the way we wanted to finish on senior night, but we just didn't do the things necessary to win. We knew Northwood would be ready to play and wouldn't back down, and they didn't. So now we have to regroup and get ready for Wayne State on Thursday. But even with all of that, we have had a great season and have earned at least a share of the GLIAC North Division Championship, and that deserves to be celebrated! It's something that can never be taken away from us and we are very pround of that accomplishment."
The Cardinals round-out regular season play on Thursday (Feb. 23) at Wayne State University. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. in Detroit. SVSU posted a 66-55 win over the Warriors on January 30 in University Center earlier this season.
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