HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team pulled away for a 60-44 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win at home on Senior Day against Davenport University in the SDC Gym Saturday afternoon. Senior Brenna Heise led the Huskies offense with 12 points and surpassed 1,000 points for her career at Tech.
"It was a special day for our seniors and the team to get a win today," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "This is a really close group of seniors that we have and their bond is different and that's what makes it so special. It was great that they were able experience cutting down the nets after the game and show our younger players what that feels like. The group has worked really hard to get to this point and to win the GLIAC North Championship.
"It was awesome to see Brenna surpass 1,000 points and have players reach that milestone in back to back games is a great feat. She has worked hard for all of those, battling back from injury earlier in her career to reach that goal as a senior."
Both offenses started out slow in the first quarter, but Michigan Tech (23-4, 17-3 GLIAC) found a spark late in the period to open up a two possession lead. Trailing Davenport (8-19, 6-14 GLIAC) 7-6 with under two minutes on the clock, junior Elizabeth Kelliher worked her way into the paint and sophomore Baillie McGirk found her with the pass for a layup to send the Huskies in front 8-7.
That bucket sparked an 8-0 run that carried through into the start of the second quarter. McGirk generated three consecutive field goals to give the Huskies a 14-7 advantage at the 9:19 mark of the second quarter. The Panthers eventually clawed back to within three points at 21-18 on an Amanda Merz layup with 2:44 to play until the break.
Tech increased the gap back to five points at 24-19 on two free throws from freshman Cassidy Trotter with 37 seconds on the clock before reestablishing a seven-point lead again right before the buzzer. Senior Elisa Jurmu connected on a free throw and a layup to give the Huskies a 27-20 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
Michigan Tech was able to pull away in the third quarter, outscoring the Panthers 20-12 during that 10-minute span. Heise grabbed an offensive rebound and proceeded to convert a conventional three-point play to bump the lead to 30-22 in the first minute of the quarter. Tech then built a double digit lead for the first time when Heise dialed in a triple to make it 42-31 with just over three minutes left in the third.
Leading 42-32 with 47 seconds remaining, Heise went back to the line again for two free throws and then a triple by senior Kelli Guy closed out the scoring in the quarter, resulting in a 47-32 advantage. Tech's largest lead of the afternoon came with 2:53 to play in the fourth quarter when senior Sarah LewAllen recorded a layup off an assist by Guy, making it a 57-39 score. Junior Isabella O'Brien notched the final points of the game for the Huskies with just over 30 seconds to go to produce the final tally of 60-44.
Heise paced the Huskies with 12 points, nine rebounds, had a career high four blocked shots, and three steals in Saturday's win. Guy followed with nine points, McGirk chipped in a season high eight points and Jurmu added seven points for the Huskies. Eleven different players had at least two points in the contest while five different players distributed two assists.
The Huskies ended the game making 23 of 49 shots from the field (46.9%), were 3 of 13 from three-point range (23.1%), and 11 of 15 from the free throw line (73.3%). Tech had a 30-27 edge in rebounding and forced 23 Davenport turnovers that led to 22 points on the offensive end of the floor. The Huskies picked up 36 points in the paint and the bench recorded 26 points in Saturday's win.
Haley Gibbons and Claire Austin led the Panthers offense with nine points apiece. Merz closed the contest with three points, but had a team high six rebounds and three assists. Tech's defense limited Davenport to a 16 of 43 shooting performance from the field (37.2%). The Panthers were 1 for 11 from three-point range (9.1%) and 11 of 18 at the free throw line (61.1%).
The Huskies open postseason play on Wednesday when they host Ferris State in the GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals at the SDC Gym. Tech is the No. 2 seed while the Bulldogs come in as the No. 7 seed. It will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams. The tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m.