HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team opened the home schedule with an impressive 74-53 victory over Minnesota-Crookston Friday night in the SDC Gymnasium. The Huskies powered out to a 26-8 lead in the first quarter and never trailed in the contest.
"I'm really happy that we were able to come out and protect our home floor," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "I thought we had a great start which was really exciting for us to watch. We were led by our seniors and they really came out and set the tone for the first half. We need to work on our rebounding and it's something we've been addressing since the preseason started. We can be better and will get better moving forward. Tomorrows opponent Concordia St. Paul is a big, tough, physical, fast, and aggressive team. They are going to push the ball and try to get to the basket. We have to be able to contain their guards and rebound well tomorrow afternoon."
Senior Morgan Anderson put Michigan Tech (2-0) in front quickly on a triple five seconds into the contest. Junior Sarah LewAllen fed her the ball off the opening tip and the Huskies were off and rolling. Isieoma Odor answered for Minnesota-Crookston (0-1) on a layup with 9:27 left to play in the first quarter only to see sophomore Elizabeth Kelliher connect on her first jumper of the night to make it a 5-2 lead for Tech.
The Kelliher basket sparked a 14-0 run for the Huskies which culminated on an Anderson layup with 5:20 remaining in the opening 10 minutes. Senior Brenna Heise also provided a key layup and free throw along with additional points from Anderson and Kelliher to push the Tech advantage to 17-2. The Huskies eventually carried an 18-point cushion into the second quarter when senior Kelli Guy dialed up a triple with time winding down to make it a 26-8 score in favor of Tech.
The Golden Eagles managed to climb back to within 14 points at 28-14 on an Alison Hughes three-point bucket early in the second quarter, but the Huskies responded with five straight points on a triple and jump shot from Guy with 8:22 to play in the half. At that point, Tech owned a 33-14 lead and when the buzzer sounded to end the first half, the Huskies took a 42-25 advantage into the locker room.
The Golden Eagles weren't able to slice into their deficit in the third quarter and with time ticking off the clock in the third period, Kelliher gave Tech a 55-36 lead going into the fourth frame. Kelliher recorded the first point of the fourth quarter on a free throw and the Huskies found themselves up by 20 points at 56-36 with just under 10 minutes remaining. The Golden Eagles would pull to within 15 points a couple of times in the fourth quarter, but that would be as close as they would get.
Kelliher and Anderson guided the Huskies with 15 points each as both players tossed in over 50% of their shots from the field. Guy followed with 13 points and Heise chipped in 11 points for Tech in Friday night's win. It's the second time in as many games that the Huskies have had four of their starters with 10 points or more.
Junior Hannah Stoll owned a team high 11 rebounds while tacking on five points on the offensive end of the floor. Anderson and Guy each dished out three of Tech's 12 assists in the game. The defense came up with five more blocked shots and forced 15 Minnesota-Crookston turnovers. The Huskies converted 46.3% (31-67) of their total field goals on Friday.
Hughes had a game high 24 points for the Golden Eagles followed by Odor with 11 points and a team best eight rebounds. Minnesota-Crookston was just 16 of 56 from the field (28.6%) Friday night.
The Huskies will return to the court on Saturday when they host Concordia St. Paul in the SDC Gymnasium. The tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.