(MARQUETTE, Mich.) - Two teams receiving votes for the Top 25 nationally gave fans a show on Thursday, but it was Northern Michigan who came out with the win over Walsh by a score of 76-74. The game was decided when Alyssa Colla made a pair of free throws for the Wildcats (4-1, 1-0) with 1.6 seconds left. The Cavs' (3-2, 0-1) last-chance effort for the win was too strong.
For a while in the first half, Walsh appeared to be in control and went up by as many as nine after a Jalynn Graham (Fr., 5-5, Columbus, OH/Central Crossing) layup but the Cavs up 33-24 with 5:24 to play before halftime. NMU stayed in the game, however, and trailed 44-40 going into the break.
Walsh again went up by as many as eight after another Graham basket, this time of the 3-point variety, that made the score 52-44 with 15:33 to play, but once again the Wildcats clawed their way back into the game with five consecutive points.
The last 10 minutes of the game were neck-and-neck as neither team held more than a one-possession lead. Northern Michigan eventually gained the lead at 58-57 with 10:23 to play, but the Cavs answered and regained the lead on an Audrey Badovick (Jr., 5-7, Norwalk, OH/St. Paul) layup 17 seconds later. Those was the first two lead changes out of nine for the remainder of the game. There were also five ties during that time.
Graham finished the game with 19 points on 8-of-14 from the floor that included three 3-pointers. Tara Gallupe (Sr., 6-0, Pittsburgh, PA/Avonworth) matched her for team-high honors with 19 points on 6-of-9 from the field. She was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe and pulled down five rebounds.
Colla led all scorers with 23 points.
The Cavaliers will be back in action against Michigan Tech on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 95.9 FM, WNPQ.