The third time was indeed the charm for the MSU-Northern women's basketball team. On Wednesday night, the Skylights finally got the better of the UM-Western Bulldogs, winning 67-63 in the first round of the 2012 Frontier Conference playoffs. The win advanced Northern into Saturday's semifinals.
Northern went on a 15-3 run early in the second half and never gave the lead back to a Western team which had beaten the Skylights twice during the regular season, scoring 80 points both times. But, there were some scary moments down the stretch. Western overcame late 3-pointers by Nikki Tresch and a hobbles Jordan Bruursema, and was only down 65-63 with 1:28 to play. But in the final minute, Western missed seven different shots which could have tied or won the game, and senior Laramie Schwenke calmly hit two game-clinching free throws with three seconds remaining, in what was likely her final game in Havre.
Schwenke finished the game with 20 points, while Bruursema scored 15 and grabbed seven rebounds. Kylee Denham was a huge factor as well, scoring 14 points and grabbing six boards, while Tresch scored eight and hit two critical three's in the second half. The Skylights also held Western star Haley Pettit to just eight points on the night.
For full coverage, see Monday's Havre Daily News.