HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team won for the third consecutive time Saturday afternoon in the SDC Gym, topping Lake Superior State in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showdown 67-40. Five different players for the Huskies poured in 10 or more points, with nearly half of Saturday's scoring coming in the paint.
"These wins at home this week were huge for us," Michigan Tech Head Coach Sam Hoyt said. "We started off a little slow shooting the ball today, but played well defensively throughout the 40 minutes. In the second half, our players stepped up and hit some big shots and our offense moved the ball well. Our balance on offense was outstanding again today and we have a lot of capable scorers who can produce points in different ways. It's awesome to see different people step up game in and game out. It was also key for us to get some good post touches and easy baskets inside, because we are going to need that going forward to be successful.
"We'll now get ready to face another incredible team Thursday with Grand Valley State coming in. They are strong in the post, have some athletic guards, and do a lot of things well. I'm excited for the game because it will give us a look at where we are at and how we compete against one of the top teams in the country. I'm also excited to play at home again this Thursday in front of our fans and it should be a fun game."
Lake Superior State (5-10, 0-8 GLIAC) gained the upper hand out of the gate with five straight points to begin the contest. Lexie Khon hit a triple and converted two free throws to give the Lakers the edge. However, sophomore Cassidy Trotter powered Michigan Tech (10-6, 6-2) into the lead with six consecutive points of her own. Junior Abbie Botz found her under the rim for a layup followed by a jumper and two free throws to make it a 6-5 score.
The two teams traded baskets over the next few possessions until a layup by senior Elizabeth Kelliher moved the Huskies back in front 15-13. The bucket by Kelliher sparked an 8-0 Tech run to close out the first quarter that then carried over into the early moments of the second period. Freshman Sloane Zenner capped the scoring burst on a layup to increase the gap to 21-13 with 8:59 on the second quarter clock.
The Lakers remained within single digits until freshman Ellie Mackay found the target from long distance, boosting Tech's cushion to 29-18 with 1:45 to go until intermission. Kohn answered the triple by Mackay on the Lakers ensuing possession, but Botz would bump the gap back to double digits again in the final minute, sending the Huskies into the locker room with a 31-21 lead.
The Huskies engineered another strong third quarter on Saturday to put the game out of reach, outscoring the Lakers 22-9. Mackay powered up the Tech offense in the second half with a midrange jumper following an offensive rebound courtesy of Kelliher. The Huskies lead then fluctuated between 9 and 13 points until midway through the third period.
After Khon had cut Tech's lead down to 39-28 on a pair of free throws, Botz grabbed an offensive rebound and got a put back layup to go to make it a 41-28 score with 5:26 remaining in the third. Mackay followed with a layup of her own, junior Hannah Hobson connected on a triple try, Kelliher added four points in the paint, and Mackay closed the string of 12 points in a row with a free throw conversion, resulting in a 51-28 Tech advantage.
The Huskies never looked back from there and eventually created their largest lead of the night with 6:15 to play in the fourth quarter. Zenner did the honors when she buried a long range jumper from behind the arc, extending the gap to 60-33. Freshman Clara Johnson closed out the afternoon by making a free throw which led to the final tally of 67-40.
Botz and Kelliher paced the Huskies with 12 points followed by Mackay and Zenner who recorded 11 points apiece. Hobson rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points on Saturday afternoon. Botz nearly had her second consecutive double-double by pulling down a team high nine rebounds. Mackay ended the contest with four assists, two steals, and three blocked shots.
The Huskies found success on 28 of 56 shots from the field (50.0%), were 6 of 15 from three-point land (40.0%), and 5 for 9 at the free throw line (55.6%). Tech out-rebounded the Lakers 33-25, scored 32 points in the paint, and forced 18 turnovers which led to 17 points on the offensive end of the floor. Tech's reserve players outscored the Lake Superior State bench 25-7.
Khon guided the Lakers with 17 points while Claire Radtke chipped in three points and grabbed a team high nine rebounds. Sadie DeWildt distributed three assists and had two steals. Lake Superior State made 12 of 41 shots from the floor (29.3%), dialed in 6 of 12 opportunities form three-point range (50.0%), and were 10 of 11 at the charity stripe (90.9%).
The Huskies remain at home this Thursday when they host GLIAC foe Grand Valley State in the SDC Gym. The tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. eastern time.