Novic's 18 points off the bench not enough as Warriors top Lakers 78-61

Photo courtesy LSSU Public Relations
Photo courtesy LSSU Public Relations

DETROIT, Mich. - Lake Superior State women's basketball fell 78-61 on the road in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play Saturday against Wayne State.

The Lakers (4-16, 2-11 GLIAC) were led by junior center Tamara Novic's 18 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Novic shot 8-of-10 from the field and also tied for a team-high with three assists.

Junior guard Mackenzie Edwards led the LSSU starters with 17 points, followed by freshman Claire Radtke's 16 points.

The Warriors (7-13, 4-9 GLIAC) jumped out to a 16-14 lead after the first quarter, despite shooting just 41.2 percent (7-17) from the field, but forced the Lakers into seven turnovers in the opening 10 minutes. LSSU posted a 6-for-11 mark from the field and 2-of-4 shooting from three-point range.

WSU opened the second quarter with a 6-0 run while LSSU failed to score through the first four minutes until Edwards sank a pair of free throws with six minutes remaining in the quarter. Following a layup by Novic for the Lakers' first field goal of the second quarter with 4:54 remaining, but the Warriors went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to build a 34-18 lead with 55 seconds left in the half.

Novic ended the half with a layup and Radtke sank a pair of free throws with five seconds remaining to draw the Lakers to within 12 at the break.

Both teams hit six field goals and turned the ball over just one time each while each posted 21 points in the third quarter, allowing the Warriors to hold on to their 12-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

Again, both sides hit six shots from the field, including two each from behind the arc, but WSU posted a 9-5 advantage in free throws made during the fourth quarter.

Sara Ruhstorfer led the Warriors with 17 points in 30 minutes of work off the bench, while shooting 5-for-8 from the field and draining all five of her free throw attempts. Christina Green with 12 points and six rebounds, and Ajai Meeks' eight points and six rebounds helped pace a Warriors bench that outscored the Lakers' reserves 46-20.

The Lakers return home Monday evening at 5:30 p.m. ET to host GLIAC travel partners Northwood to begin a three-game homestand next week. The Lakers also host Upper Peninsula rivals Northern Michigan on Thursday (5:30 p.m.) and Michigan Tech at 1 p.m. next Saturday.