MARQUETTE — There were a few firsts in the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball game played Tuesday night at the Berry Events Center against Upper Peninsula rivals Finlandia.
The Wildcats played their first home game of the season and easily edged the NCAA Division III Lions 76-49.
NMU freshman Reide Osterman, a May grad from Baraga High School, scored her first college points, six of them in 18 minutes of play, when she made all four of her free throw attempts and hit one of two shots from the field while also making two Steals and a rebound.
And for 2018 Negaunee High School graduate Natalie Bartle, who is a junior at Finlandia after a one-year transfer in Nebraska-Omaha, it was a return to the area. Bartle also played for Colorado Mesa for two years prior to that.
Bartle already led the Lions in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals that came into play, and that night she led FU with 12 points, assists and steals with four points each, and was second on her team in rebounds with four Place .
As for the outcome of the game, it was all the Wildcats from the opening tip as they went 8-0 up after 2 1/2 minutes, building their lead to 23-8 after a quarter and 48-17 at halftime.
NMU improved to 4-1 while Finlandia slipped to 2-4.
Northern’s Kayla Tierney and Abi Fraaza led all scorers with 14 points each, as Tierney had five of those in the opening eight-point run.
Fraaza also shared game rebound honors with teammate Ana Rhude, as each had seven rebounds. Fraaza was also an efficient shooter, making 3 of 3 from the field and 8 of 10 free throws, while Tierney hit from long range and made 4 of 8 on 3 pointers.
The Wildcats’ Elena Alaix added 11 points and five rebounds, while Rhude and Andrea Perez each contributed seven points. Rhude also had four blocked shots and Perez had four rebounds.
For Finlandia, L’Anse High School graduate Maija Rice scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds, while Baraga graduate Martina Jahfetson didn’t score but had two rebounds and an assist.
NMU extended their lead to as much as 37 points, 67-30, just over a minute into the fourth quarter before the Lions cut that lead by 10 points late in the game.
The Wildcats stay home for two more games this weekend against the nonconference opposition in Minnesota State, today at 3 p.m. in Minnesota-Duluth and Saturday at 3 p.m. in St. Cloud State.
Northern opens its GLIAC season on the road next week, while its next home game isn’t until Friday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. against Ferris State.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is [email protected]