MIDLAND, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team withstood a fourth quarter charge by Northwood, holding on for an 86-81 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory Saturday afternoon on the road. It was the sixth consecutive win for the Huskies as they head home for the final four regular season games the next two weeks.
"It was another great win on the road for us today against a very good team in Northwood," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "It's been a tough week with Lindsay [Winter] out due to injury and we had to make some adjustments with her out of the lineup. I'm proud of our team for stepping up as multiple players contributed big plays both offensively and defensively. Our bench gave us a big lift not only today, but in Thursday's game as well and we'll need them to keep doing that down the stretch. We are excited about getting home next week for two more key conference games against Ferris State and Lake Superior State."
Michigan Tech (20-3, 14-2 GLIAC) and Northwood (14-8, 10-6 GLIAC) played a nearly even first quarter with both sides taking turns owning the lead. The Huskies got the upper had to start the contest and led 10-5 through the first three minutes following a layup by senior Hannah Stoll. The Timberwolves countered with the next seven points to go up 12-10 and from there neither team led by more than two points the rest of the quarter. Karli Harrington recorded the final basket of the opening 10-minute period for Northwood, making it a 20-19 score in favor of the Timberwolves.
Trailing 25-23 two minutes into the second quarter, the Huskies grabbed the momentum thanks to a 14-2 scoring run over the next five minutes. Freshman Cassidy Trotter tied the score on a layup followed by a triple courtesy of junior Michelle LaFave. Senior Kelli Guy eventually dialed in a trey with 3:11 on the clock to cap the run and give the Huskies their first double digit lead at 37-27. Tech eventually carried a 43-35 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Michigan Tech controlled the third quarter and it carried into the early stages of the fourth quarter. The Huskies outscored the Timberwolves 23-10 in the period and opened up a 21-point lead by the time the buzzer sounded. Trotter got to the basket for a layup for the final points of the period, making the score 66-45 through 30 minutes.
Junior Elizabeth Kelliher went right to the rim on the opening possession of the fourth quarter where she cashed in a layup and got fouled for an opportunity at a three-point play. Kelliher was able to convert and it gave the Huskies their largest lead of the afternoon at 69-45 with 9:43 on the clock. However, the Timberwolves would not go quietly on their home floor.
Northwood made 13 of 16 field goals and went 8 for 8 at the free throw line to storm all the way back within three points in the last minute. Lindsay Orwat cut Northwood's deficit to four points at 79-75 with 1:13 to play and then Maddy Seely dropped in a layup with 18 seconds to go to make it 82-79. The Huskies kept Northwood from gaining any more ground thanks to some crucial free throw shooting. Guy delivered six free throws in the final minute, including the final two with just under seven seconds to play to seal the 86-81 win. Trotter also had a key free throw make during that stretch as well.
Six Tech players had 11 or more points in Saturday's game, led by Stoll with 16 points and five assists. Heise followed with 15 points and six rebounds, sophomore Hannah Hobson fired in a career high 13 points, Guy had 12 points, Kelliher chipped in 11 points, and Trotter rounded out the double digit scorers with a career best 11 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Senior Sarah LewAllen matched Stoll with five assists.
As a team, the Huskies connected on 35 of 61 shots from the field (57.4%), were 7 of 18 from three-point range (38.9%), and 9 of 11 at the free throw line (81.8%). Tech's defense forced 14 turnovers which led to 19 points on the offensive end of the floor. The Huskies bench outscored Northwood 29-22.
Orwat and Seeley powered the Timberwolves with 23 points apiece followed by Herrington with 16 points. Taylor Craymer was the top rebounder with seven boards for Northwood. The Timberwolves were on target with 29 of 53 shots from the field (54.7%), 6 of 18 from three-point range (33.3%), and 17 of 20 at the free throw line (85.0%). They also had a slight edge in rebounding at 27-25.
The Huskies return home on Thursday to begin a four game home stand against Ferris State in the SDC Gym. Tech topped the Bulldogs 80-77 on the road January 11th in the first meeting of the season. Thursday's tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.