Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Friday, 5 p.m. vs Ursuline • Saturday 1 p.m. vs Davis & Elkins • Big Rapids, Mich.
Michigan Tech (0-0) vs Ursuline (0-0) and Davis & Elkins (0-0)
Radio: WKMJ (Friday)
Audio Stream: Pasty.net/Facebook Live
Live Stats: http://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/wbkb/2018-19/schedule
Michigan Tech wrapped up an impressive preseason with a 66-61 exhibition win at NCAA Division I Eastern Michigan University last Thursday. The Huskies took a 4-0 lead and outscored the Eagles 13-4 in the first quarter. Tech led by as many as 11 points while Eastern Michigan managed no more than a two-point edge the entire night. Tech's first exhibition game of the 2018-19 season resulted in a 67-28 victory over St. Norbert on October 27th. The Huskies opened the contest with a 13-0 scoring run and never looked back.
INTO THE FIRE
With the graduation of six outstanding seniors from last year's team, four new starters are in the lineup for the 2018-19 campaign. In two exhibition games, the Huskies haven't missed a beat with two solid performances. Sophomore guard Cassidy Trotter had 20 points, four rebounds, and four assists against Eastern Michigan followed by junior forward Abbie Botz with 14 points and seven rebounds. The starting five combined for 24 rebounds and 12 assists and were in sync on both ends of the floor. The Huskies had solid contributions off the bench as well with junior forward Hannah Hobson and freshman forward Jordan Ludescher each firing in nine points while grabbing four rebounds in the contest with the Eagles. Hobson and Trotter both reached double figure point totals in the win over St. Norbert with each player notching 15 apiece.
Playing solid defense has been a staple of the Michigan Tech women's basketball program through the years and in two exhibition games it's been a deciding factor. The Huskies limited St. Norbert to 16.2 percent shooting from the field (6 of 37) while forcing 29 turnovers in 40 minutes. In last week's win at Eastern Michigan, the Eagles managed to make only 31.3 percent of their field goal opportunities (21 of 67). Tech's defense shutdown the outside game as well, holding EMU to a 31.8 percent clip from behind the arc (7 of 22). One of Tech's goals going into the second exhibition game was to keep an athletic EMU team out of the paint and that's exactly how things played out. The Huskies forced the Eagles into a number of low percentage attempts and on offense thrived themselves on high percentage shots. The Huskies outscored the Eagles 42-26 in the paint in Thursday's win.
GLIAC PRESEASON POLL
The Huskies were selected to finish second this season in the GLIAC North Division with the coaches' poll was announced in October by the conference office. Tech earned 50 points in the poll along with a pair of first place votes, landing behind Northern Michigan who tallied 60 points and 10 first place votes. Ferris State was picked third in the poll with 43 points followed by Parkside with 27 points, resulting in the No. 4 spot in the poll. Lake Superior State and Purdue Northwest each accumulated 18 points to tie for fifth.
Over in the South Division, Grand Valley State holds the No. 1 position with 58 points and seven first place votes. The defending overall regular season GLIAC champion and tournament champion Ashland University is second in the South with 54 points and four first place votes. Wayne State checks in at No. 3 with 54 points, Northwood is fourth with 31 points, Davenport is fifth at 18 points, and Saginaw Valley State is sixth with 16 points.
The Huskies will face Ursuline and Davis & Elkins on opening weekend for the second consecutive season. The 2017-18 campaign marked the first time Tech has played the two programs, with the Huskies prevailing in both. Tech fired past Davis & Elkins 65-48 in the Friday game followed by an 81-67 decision against Ursuline in Pepper Pike, Ohio a year ago. After a slow start against Davis & Elkins last year, 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. A strong third quarter that saw Tech outpace Ursuline 27-14 was one of the major deciding factors in that win. The Huskies led by just two points at the break.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Ursuline finished the 2017-18 season with an overall record of 19-10 while recording a 16-6 mark in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. The Arrows struggled down the stretch with three losses in their final three games, including an 81-69 setback to Hillsdale in the GMAC Tournament Quarterfinals. Ursuline will have to replace their top three scorers from a year ago with all three graduating following their senior season. Laney Lewis led the trio by pouring in 19.3 points per game while hauling down 12.7 rebounds each time she took the floor. Guard Morgan Mattimore is the top returning scorer from a year ago on the strength of a 9.9 points per game scoring average. Ky Crevison followed closely at 8.7 points per game, so the Huskies will have to keep a close eye on both of those players. The Arrows played one exhibition game which was a close 81-71 loss at NCAA Division I Cleveland State.
Davis & Elkins compiled an overall record of 11-17 last season and wrapped up the year with a 7-15 mark in the GMAC. The Senators started slow, but caught fire towards the end of the season, winning five of their last seven contests. Guard Kali Wilburn is one of the top returners from last years team, finishing second in points per game at 10.4 while pacing the club on the boards with a 5.7 rebounds per game average. Guard Colleena Burdock played in all 28 games, including eight starts, and averaged 7.4 points per night. The Senators did not play in an exhibition game during the preseason and will open the regular season Friday night against Ferris State.
Sam Hoyt was named as the ninth head coach of the Michigan Tech women's basketball program, Director of Athletics Suzanne Sanregret announced Tuesday (May 29). Hoyt returns to Tech from the University of Sioux Falls where she served as an assistant coach. Hoyt was a standout player for the Huskies, helping lead the program to the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship game as well as garnering multiple individual awards, including All-American Honorable Mention honors. Hoyt brings a wealth of coaching experience to Tech from both the NCAA Division I and II levels. In Hoyt's most recent stop at the University of Sioux Falls, she was involved in all facets of the program. She played an integral role in player development, served as the recruiting coordinator, created scouting reports, ran summer camps, and had responsibilities for film breakdown. Hoyt is Michigan Tech's seventh all-time leading scorer, amassing 1,434 career points during her four-year career which spanned 124 games. Hoyt owns the second highest career free throw percentage in program history at 84.8 percent and is tied for the second highest single season free throw percentage at 89.5 percent. The Huskies boasted an overall record of 103-22 during her career as a player.
The Huskies are in Houghton next weekend for a pair of non-conference showdowns with MSU-Moorhead and Minnesota State. Tech faces MSU-Moorhead in the home opener Friday night at 6 p.m. followed by a matchup with Minnesota State Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The Huskies defeated MSU-Moorhead 66-53 on the road a year ago and will meet Minnesota State for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign.