HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team held off Ferris State 70-56 in the SDC Wood Gym Saturday afternoon for their fourth straight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory. This marks the second four game winning streak for the Huskies, who reeled off four straight earlier this year against Lake Erie, Ohio Dominican, Hillsdale, and Findlay.
"I was really glad that we were able to finish off our stretch at home with a win," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "The past couple games have been tough, but that's how it is going to be in this conference. I'm proud of the way that we finished the game with our free throws. They were cutting our lead and making a really big push on us late and our free throw shooting down the stretch was a big key to getting this win."
Michigan Tech (14-4, 10-3 GLIAC) trailed only twice Saturday as both deficits were in the first minute and shortly lived. Alexis Bush put Ferris State (4-15, 3-10 GLIAC) on the board first with a layup in the opening 11 seconds of the contest. Redhsirt junior Brenna Heise dialed in a triple on Tech's ensuing possession to make it 3-2. Riley Blair countered with a layup for the Bulldogs, but then sophomore Elizabeth Kelliher answered with a layup of her own to make it 5-4 with 8:40 left in the first quarter.
Kelliher's bucket would prove to be the first two points in what turned into a 9-0 scoring burst for the Huskies. Kelliher tacked on two more free throws followed by a triple from senior Morgan Anderson and a layup courtesy of junior Lindsay Winter, extending the Huskies advantage to 12-4 with 7:08 on the clock. The Bulldogs climbed to within three points at 14-11 on a Bush layup four minutes later, but Tech closed the quarter strong by generating eight of the final 10 points to take a 22-13 lead. Junior Hannah Stoll had five of the eight points on a jumper and triple with Anderson closing the first period by draining a three.
The Huskies took their first double digit lead of the afternoon at 24-13 early in the second quarter on another Kelliher layup with 9:18 on the clock. Leading 28-17 after a Kelliher layup with 6:41 left in the half, the Huskies saw their lead trimmed to two points at 28-26 following an 11-2 Ferris State run. The teams traded baskets on each of the next two possessions, but Tech ended the half strong on a free throw by Keliher and a triple by Anderson. The four points Tech put on the board in the final moments of the half enabled the Huskies to carry a 34-28 lead into the break.
Back to back treys by redshirt junior Kelli Guy and junior Lindsay Winter early in the third quarter gave the Huskies a double digit advantage again at 40-30 with 8:39 on the clock. With one minute left in the third, Tech bumped the gap to 14 points at 50-36 on two free throws from Winter and then with 9:13 remaining in the fourth, the Huskies enjoyed their largest lead of the afternoon 52-36 thanks to layup by freshman Ballie McGirk.
However, Ferris State put together a rally in the fourth quarter and pulled to within five points at 60-55 at the 57 second mark of the fourth period. The Huskies, who converted 16 of 17 free throw attempts in the contest, tossed in ten of them in the final 38 seconds to wrap up the day on a 10-2 run. The Tech defense limited the Bulldogs to just one point on a free throw by Joslyn Nicholson down the stretch.
Anderson guided the Huskies on Saturday with 18 points while matching a career high with nine assists against the Bulldogs. Kelliher made good on 6 of 7 shots from the field on her way to 16 points in the stat sheet to go along with a career high six blocked shots. Winter chipped in 11 points to round out the double digit scorers for Tech followed by Heise who closed the contest with nine points and a team best six rebounds. Stoll was 3 for 3 from the field and posted seven points for the Huskies.
Tech wrapped up the afternoon making 23 of 53 shots from the field (43.4%), were 8 of 22 from three-point range (36.4%), and cashed in 16 of 17 looks at the charity stripe (94.1%). The Huskies had a slight edge in rebounding 29-28 and scored 23 points off 20 Bulldog turnovers.
Ferris State was powered by Rachel McInerney who notched 14 points while grabbing six rebounds. Blair finished the contest with 11 points and five rebounds. The Bulldogs made 21 of 49 shots from the floor (42.9%), were 2 of 6 from behind the arc (33.3%), and 12 of 14 at the free throw line (85.7%).
The Huskies remain in sole possession of second place in the GLIAC North Division standings as they head to Marquette for a Monday night showdown against rival Northern Michigan. The tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.