UNIVERSITY CENTER -- The Cardinal Women's Basketball team hosted Northern Michigan University on Thursday (Jan. 30) night in GLIAC action. Despite erasing a 13-point deficit and a big fourth quarter with a new career-high from Mariah Cook, the Cards fell by a final score of 71-66 at O'Neill Arena.
Cook had a career-best 19 points in the contest, besting her 17-point output she had last Thursday at Wayne State.
Saginaw Valley falls to 8-12 overall after the defeat and 4-8 in the GLIAC while the Wildcats improve to 10-10 and 7-5 in league play.
The entire first half was tight, with SVSU maintaining control of the game leading by a slim margin of 16-14 through the first 10 minutes of action. Cook led the way for the home team in the opening quarter with six points while the SV defense forced eight NMU turnovers.
Northern Michigan had the narrow edge of 11-10 in the second quarter, which gave the Cardinals a one-point lead heading into the half, 26-25. Six of those 10 SVSU points came from Kaitlyn Zarycki.
The Wildcats had a big third quarter, outscoring Saginaw Valley 25-13 and leading by as many as 13 points. The visitors took a 50-39 lead into the final quarter of action. Cook added five more points for the home side in the third.
SVSU opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run to trim the deficit to just 50-49 with a shade under eight minutes left to play. A Cook triple with 5:12 showing gave the Cards a 57-56 lead. The lead bounced back-and-forth a bit from there and the 'Cats broke a 64-64 tie to take a 67-64 lead with 1:11 left. A jumper from Maddie Barrie trimmed that lead to 67-66 but a pair of NMU free throws with 16 seconds remaining put its lead at 69-66. Two more freebies would come for the Wildcats with two seconds left, sealing the victory for the visitors at 71-66.
Inside the Boxscore
- Cook was named the Meijer "Player of the Game" after her career-best 19 points. She added three assists, a rebound and a steal.
- Tori DePerry reached double-figures with 13 points, adding four boards with a steal and a block.
- Barrie had 10 points with a team-high six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
- Zarycki added 10 points with three boards, assists and steals.
From Head Coach Jenny Pruett
"I'm proud of our comeback today. We keep fighting and our kids are giving their best. We will be ready to go for Michigan Tech on Saturday. This is the second round of games in the conference and everyone is bringing their A games. We have to protect our home court on Saturday."
Saginaw Valley is home again on Saturday (Feb. 1) as they host the Michigan Tech Huskies in a 1:00 p.m. matchup. You can follow all of the action live at svsucardinals.com.