HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team suffered a tough 68-65 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss to Walsh University Saturday afternoon in the SDC Gymnasium. The Huskies built a 12-point lead in the first half, but were unable to hold off a second half charge by the Cavaliers.
"It was a rough way to start GLIAC play and every game is going to be extremely important," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "We relaxed in the last two minutes of the first half and that was the difference. If you think you can relax for one second or two minutes in the first half, second half, to start the game or at any point, you are going to get beat and that's exactly what happened to us today. We learned a hard lesson getting beat on our home floor and now we'll look to bounce back next week at Lake Erie and Ohio Dominican."
Walsh (5-3, 1-1 GLIAC) gained the upper hand early in the first quarter by posting the first five points of the afternoon. Brittni Clopton connected on a layup followed by a conventional three-point play from Brooklyn Wooten with 9:08 left in the first quarter.
Redshirt junior Kelli Guy then initiated what turned into a 13-1 scoring burst for Michigan Tech (4-2, 0-1 GLIAC) over the next three minutes. Guy knocked down the first of her five triples to get the Huskies offense rolling. Redshirt junior Brenna Heise tied the game at 5-5 on a layup followed by three-point buckets from Guy and junior guard Sarah LewAllen; in addition to a jumper courtesy of senior guard Morgan Anderson. The run created a 13-6 gap between Tech and Walsh with 6:20 left on the clock in the first quarter.
Following a pair of Cavalier free throws by Wooten, the Huskies resumed incrementally building their lead over the next few minutes. Anderson answered Wooten by sinking four consecutive free throws and then Guy dialed in another triple to give the Huskies what would be their largest lead of the afternoon at 20-8 with 3:26 remaining in the first quarter.
Walsh countered with the next four points to climb to within eight at 20-12, but Heise quickly pushed the Tech advantage back to double digits at 22-12 with just under two minutes left in the first period. Leading 23-14 after another free throw by Anderson, the Huskies saw their lead trimmed back to seven points when Alex Hochstedler converted two free throws for the Cavaliers, making is a 23-16 score going into the second period.
Michigan Tech continued to keep Walsh at a fair distance throughout the second quarter, holding leads of 12-points on four separate occasions during the first seven minutes. With 3:01 left on the clock until halftime, Anderson put the Huskies in front 39-27 on a two-point jumper. However, the Cavaliers would use the final three minutes of the quarter to get back within striking distance. Walsh would score eight of the final 10 points in quarter to go into the break trailing 41-35. Jalynn Graham sparked the effort with six of the points on a pair of triples.
The Cavaliers closed the gap to three points four times during the third quarter, but each time the Huskies were able to get a big shot to stay in front. Anderson had three layups and junior guard Lindsay Winter connected from behind the arc to answer Walsh baskets. Winter, who saw her first action of the season, gave Tech a 54-48 lead with 2:01 left in the third period.
Just over a minute later, Dominique Foley hit a three-point shot to bring Walsh to within one at 54-53 with 49 seconds left in the third. Sophomore forward Elizabeth Kelliher tossed in two free throws for the Huskies in the final 33 seconds enabling Tech to carry a 56-53 lead into the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, the fourth quarter would belong to the Cavaliers who went on to outscore Tech 15-9 in the final 10 minutes. Walsh took the lead for the first time since the opening period at 57-56 on free throws by Clopton with 9:02 to play. The Huskies were unable to go back in front the rest of the way, although they kept the score tight.
Anderson deadlocked the game at 61-61 on a triple with 4:27 left, but Clopton drove to the bucket for a layup with 4:11 left to give the Cavaliers the lead for good. After Walsh went up 68-62 with 26 seconds left, but the Huskies kept battling and gave themselves a chance to tie the game on their final possession. Heise drilled a trey with five seconds left and then stole the ensuing inbounds pass to give Tech the ball back. However, Anderson's three-point shot from the right wing as time was winding down was blocked on a great defensive play by Clopton, securing the win for Walsh.
Anderson had a game high 25-points to power the Tech attack on Saturday and just missed matching her career high in points. Her career high of 26 points was set at Malone last December. Anderson also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists on Saturday. Guy followed Anderson with 19 points while Heise rounded out the double digit scorers with 13 points against the Cavaliers. Junior guard Sarah LewAllen matched Anderson with a team high six rebounds and chipped in three points. As a team, the Huskies were 23 of 54 shooting from the field (42.6%), 10 for 26 from three-point range (38.5%), and 9 of 12 from the charity stripe.
Walsh was paced by Clopton and Graham who each poured in 16 points for the Cavaliers. Clopton recorded a double-double with a game high 12 rebounds while Wooten contributed 11 points and dished out seven assists for Walsh. The Cavaliers were 27 of 63 from the field (42.9%), 6 of 14 from behind the arc (42.9%), and 8 of 11 at the free throw line (72.7%). Walsh out-rebounded Tech 41-29 and scored 42 of their points in the paint.
The Huskies will look to regroup on Thursday when they travel to Lake Erie College for another GLIAC battle starting at 5:30 p.m. Tech will close the week on the road at Ohio Dominican on Saturday afternoon. That tip-off is slated for 1 p.m.