The Northern Michigan University women's basketball team dropped an overtime thriller to No. 5 seed Quincy 65-58 in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Midwest Regional at the O'Reilly Family Events Center Friday.
NMU completes its season with a 22-8 overall record while Quincy improved to 23-6 and will advance to play top seeded Drury on Sunday.
Senior forward Annie Rubendunst led Northern Michigan with 20 points followed by junior guard Alyssa Colla with 18. Lucy Cramsey led Quincy with 23 points and 17 rebounds and Felisha Loggins had 10 points.
"We couldn't be more proud of the girls and the way they played throughout the whole season," said NMU head coach Troy Mattson. "Unfortunately we got cold at a bad time and couldn't make a shot down the stretch and that drastically affected the outcome of the game."
After both teams went scoreless for the first four minutes of action, the Wildcats led by as many as 13 and took a 30-21 lead at the half paced by 11 first half points from Rubendunst and nine from Colla. Cramsey led Quincy with eight first half points and 11 rebounds as the Lady Hawks edged the Wildcats on the boards 22-19. NMU used seven Quincy turnovers to score seven points off those miscues in the first and held the Lady Hawks to 28.1% shooting and 11.1% from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats shot 35.7% from the floor in the first half and were perfect from the charity stripe connecting on all five attempts.
NMU started the second half with a 7-0 run taking its largest lead of the game on a layup by Colla with 18:25 left in the second half. Quincy answered with a 10-0 run to cut the NMU lead to 37-31 with 14:44 left in the game.
A layup by Rubendunst with 9:57 left and a jumper by Colla with 7:07 left in the game gave NMU 10-point leads but a jumper by Cramsey with 2:57 left in the game tied the contest at 52-52 before each team hit the front half of two free throws to send the game to overtime 53-53.
A layup by junior forward Abbey DeBruin and a three by Rubendunst tied the game for NMU in overtime, but Quincy was able to stretch the lead out to two possessions after free throws from Felisha Loggins and Cramsey, 65-58.
NMU finished the game shooting 33.9% from the floor connecting on 21-62 of their attempts. NMU was also 9-33 from three-point range and 7-9 from the charity stripe. Quincy was 23-60 from the floor, 6-20 from three-point range and 13-18 from the charity stripe.
Quincy out rebounded the Wildcats 45-39 while NMU outscored the Hawks 20-18 in the paint. NMU forced Quincy into 13 turnovers and converted those miscues into 13 points. Junior guard Lauren Gruber led NMU with eight rebounds followed by Rubendunst and DeBruin with six.
Northern Michigan wishes the best to departing seniors Annie Rubendunst, who will return to NMU for her student teaching in the fall, and Katie Becker who will begin medical school at Michigan State. The Wildcats return 13 players including four starters next fall.