HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team used strong second and third quarters to overtake Davis & Elkins 65-48 Friday afternoon at Ursuline College in the 2017-18 opener. The Huskies outscored the Senators 23-14 in the second period and then 19-10 in the third after trailing 16-12 through ten minutes of action.
"It was a great way to start the season and an important win for us regionally," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "We a had a bit of a slow start, but really picked things up as the game went on. We had a strong second half and overall we were more consistent, getting the ball inside in addition to playing solid defense. Elisabeth Kelliher had a solid game in the post both offensively and defensively and we were able to get the ball inside to her, which makes us a better team.
"I'm also really proud of how Lindsay Winter played today because she really stepped up big for us. She showed great leadership and it was fun to watch her make so many great plays. She took it personally from a leadership standpoint on the floor and made us a better team."
Davis & Elkins (0-1) struck first Friday afternoon with five straight points at the outset. Sydney Turner knocked down a triple followed by a pair of free throws from Kali Wilburn with 7:57 on the first quarter clock. Senior Hannah Stoll got Michigan Tech on the board with a jumper and then senior Lindsay Winter dialed in a triple of her own to knot the score at 5-5 with 6:50 remaining in the first. They were the first of what would be a career high 29 points for Winter Friday afternoon.
The two teams then traded baskets over the next few minutes before the Senators went up by four at 13-9 with just over three minutes to go in the first. The Huskies drew to within one at 13-12 on a Stoll free throw in the final minute, but Davis & Elkins would carry a two possession lead into the second quarter after a triple by Nicole Armstrong found the mark right before the buzzer sounded.
Michigan Tech regrouped during the break and proceeded to reel off 10 straight points to turn the tide. Winter drove to the basket for a layup to kick start the scoring burst before following it up with another bucket from behind the arc to give the Huskies a 17-16 edge. Winter then extended the gap to 20-16 with another triple and junior Elizabeth Kelliher knocked down a midrange jumper to cap the run with 6:36 to go in the first half.
The Senators closed the gap to 24-21 on a trey by Turner, but the Huskies once again quickly countered on a three pointer by Kellie Guy and two-point jumper tossed in by Winter with 4:07 on the second quarter clock. Kelliher then gave the Huskies their largest lead in the first half when Kelliher extended the margin to 33-22 on a field goal with just over three minutes left in the second period. The Senators would make up some ground at the close of the second quarter to pull back within five points at 35-30 with 20 minutes in the books.
Much like the start of the second quarter, Michigan Tech engineered a strong opening sequence of the third period to create a 14-point cushion just over three minutes into second half. Winter set the tone with a triple 10 seconds in while Kelliher and Stoll contributed points in the scoring run that made it a 44-30 Tech lead.
Davis & Elkins sliced their deficit down to ten points at 49-39 on two free throws with 2:12 remaining in the third, but that's as close as they would get the rest of the way. The Huskies held a 54-40 advantage going into the fourth quarter and would go up by 17 points at 57-40 on a trey from Guy in the first minute of the fourth. Tech created their largest lead in the contest at 65-46 on a conventional three-point play by Kelliher with 1:40 to go.
Winter led all scorers Friday afternoon with a career high 29 points on the strength of a 12 for 14 shooting performance from the field. Included in those totals, were five baskets that found the mark from behind the arc. Winter also created a new career high in rebounds with 11 boards in Friday's win. Her previous career high in points (27) was set last season in the GLIAC tournament against Ohio Dominican while her previous best in rebounds (10) occurred against Ashland in the postseason.
Kelliher anchored the post for Michigan Tech Friday with 13 points, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots followed by Guy who chipped in 11 points with a team high four assists. As a team, the Huskies connected on 26 of 61 shots from the field (42.6%), were 9 of 26 from three-point range (34.6%), and 4 of 6 at the free throw line (66.7%). Tech also dominated the paint with a 39-26 advantage in rebounds.
Nicole Armstrong guided the Senators with 11 points followed by Turner with 10 points to round out the double digit scorers. Kali Wilburn tacked on six points and led Davis & Elkins on the glass with six rebounds while dishing out three assists. Tech's defense limited the Senators to a 16 of 49 shooting effort from the floor (32.7%).
The 21st ranked Huskies will be back in action on Saturday afternoon when they battle Ursuline College to close the opening weekend of the season. The tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.