BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team wrapped up an impressive opening weekend with a 75-39 non-conference win against Davis & Elkins Saturday in Big Rapids, Michigan. The Huskies tipped off the regular season with a 96-65 decision in their favor against Ursuline on Friday night after closing the preseason with two exhibition victories.
"I'm happy with the win today and we played really well, especially in the first half," Michigan Tech Head Coach Sam Hoyt said. "It was good to see us play fast and get some points in transition to create a good lead. It was also nice to be able to get everyone some playing time this weekend, which will help build our confidence as we move forward throughout the season. I don't know if I would have expected 30 point wins in both games, but I knew we would be ready to go and it was great to see that we could perform at a high level and sustain a lead."
Even though the first quarter went in Michigan Tech's (2-0) favor Saturday 25-14, the beginning took the shape of a back and forth battle. Each side traded baskets and the lead through the first five plus minutes. Junior Hannah Hobson knocked down a triple to put the Huskies in front 9-7 with 5:42 to go in the first. Jamiyah Johnson tied the game again at 9-9 a few seconds later, but for the rest of the quarter the tide shifted in the Huskies favor.
Freshman Jordan Ludescher powered Tech in front 11-9 on a layup at the 4:20 mark and from that moment forward the Huskies would never relinquish the advantage. Hobson then knifed to the bucket for a layup off an assist from Ludescher followed by another triple to make it 19-6 with 3:11 remaining in the first. Those points were all part of a 16-5 scoring burst by the Huskies to finish off the first frame. Sophomore Cassidy Trotter capped off the quarter with a layup to send the Huskies into the second period with a 25-14 advantage.
The Huskies kept the momentum rolling at the outset of the second with junior Ellie Welsh dialing in a triple from long range to make it 28-14. Junior Abbie Botz was next up with a pair of two-point field goals and then Hobson found the range again from three-point land for a 35-14 Huskies lead. Botz and Trotter then posted points on layups before Davis & Elkins (0-2) generated their first basket of the second quarter.
The Huskies would eventually outscore the Senators 22-6 in the second quarter to establish a strong foothold in the contest. Welsh closed out an impressive first half for Tech with a three-point basket, extending the lead to 47-20 with 20 minutes in the books.
Tech's offense slowed a bit in the third and fourth quarters, but the defense continued to keep the Senators off balance. The Huskies limited Davis & Elkins to 11 points in the third and eight in the fourth, resulting in the final tally of 75-39. The Senators were held to single digit points totals in two of the fourth periods on Saturday.
Botz established a new career by leading the Huskies' offense with 18 points on a 9 of 12 shooting performance from the field. She also hauled down four rebounds and had a steal on the defensive end of the floor. Hobson also recorded a new career high with 16 points off the bench, powering the Huskies from behind the arc with four triples. Trotter and freshman Ellie Mackay chipped in nine points apiece while Welsh tallied six points and a team high six assists. Junior Baillie McGirk tossed in five points and had a team best five rebounds.
As a team, the Huskies were on target with 29 of 50 shot attempts from the field (58.0%), found the mark on 10 of 20 tries from behind the arc (50.0%), and were 7 for 11 at the free throw line (63.6%). Tech had a large advantage on the glass again Saturday, out-rebounding the Senators 35-19. The defense also forced 22 Davis & Elkins turnovers.
Johnson guided the Senators with 10 points off the bench followed by Kali Wilburn and Rebecca Laberge with six points each. Sydney Nestor reeled in five rebounds and Colleena Burdock distributed four assists and had three steals. Davis & Elkins made just 15 of 47 shots from the field (31.9%), went 2 of 19 from three-point range (10.5%), and 7 of 9 at the charity stripe (77.8%).
The Huskies are in Houghton on Friday for their home opener against MSU-Moorhead with the tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m. Tech will then entertain Minnesota State Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. to close the weekend.