Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Tues. Mar. 5 • 5:30 p.m. vs Northwood
Michigan Tech (20-8) vs Northwood University (13-15)
Radio: WKMJ Mix 93 FM (Mitch Lake)
Video Stream: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/mtu/
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Live Stats: http://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/wbkb/2018-19/schedule
WEEK 16 IN REVIEW
The Huskies clinched their 16th Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division/Conference title this past Thursday night with a 60-55 victory over rival Northern Michigan in the 2018-19 regular season finale at the SDC gym. Tech also locked down the No. 3 seed in the GLIAC Tournament which sets up a quarterfinal contest against Northwood University Tuesday at home beginning at 5:30 p.m. eastern time. The Huskies led by as many as 10 points against the Wildcats, but Northern Michigan fought back to reclaim the edge at 53-51 with just over three minutes to go in the game. Sophomore Cassidy Trotter stepped up for the Huskies and connected on what would arguably be the shot of the night. Trotter lined up a triple from the top of the key on the ensuing possession, vaulting the Huskies ahead once again 54-53. Junior Ellie Welsh followed with a layup and from there Tech held off Northern Michigan for the 60-55 victory.
Four Huskies produced 10 or more points in Thursday's game, powered by junior Abbie Botz and freshman Ellie Mackay with 12 points each. Botz reeled in 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the year. Senior Elizabeth Kelliher followed with 11 points while adding three more blocked shots to her season totals. Kelliher is also just 17 points shy of reaching 1,000 career points going into the postseason. Junior Ellie Welsh rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points and distributed a team high four assists in the victory. As a team, the Huskies made 20 of 45 shots from the field (44.4%), were 7 for 11 from behind the arc (63.6%), and 13 of 16 at the charity stripe (81.3%). Tech outscored Northern Michigan 24-18 in the paint and produced 28 points off of 23 Wildcat miscues.
The Michigan Tech women's basketball program has a storied history of postseason success. The Huskies punched their ticket to the postseason for the 29th consecutive time in 2018-19, winning the GLIAC North Division title while finishing third in the overall regular season standings. Tech has secured the GLIAC Tournament Championship seven times in program history, with the most recent coming during the 2014-15 campaign. The Huskies have also reached the NCAA Tournament 19 times in program history, including four regional titles. Tech qualified for the regionals last season and have been there four of the last eight seasons, advancing to the NCAA National Championship contest in 2011. Tech's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament occurred during the 1990-91 season under Head Coach Kevin Borseth when the team made it to the regional title game.
Michigan Tech enters this year's GLIAC Tournament as the No. 3 seed and will face the No. 6 seed Northwood University in the quarterfinals Tuesday night in the SDC Gym. The Huskies are coming off their second straight GLIAC North Division title and will be in the tournament for the 29th straight season. Tech has won the first two meetings of the season against the Timberwolves 78-68 in Midland on December 1st and 70-40 in Houghton on February 7th. The other teams to make this year's conference tournament field are Ashland, Grand Valley State, Northern Michigan, Ferris State, Parkside, and Wayne State.
GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
The Huskies are 28 games into the season and continue to rank near the top in multiple GLIAC statistical categories. The Huskies are fifth in the conference in scoring at 65.0 points per game, fifth in the conference in assists per game (14.1), third in opponents field goal percentage (36.8%), and second in opponents three-point percentage (28.5%). The Huskies are third in points allowed per game (56.4), fourth in field goals made per game (24.8), third in field goal percentage (43.6%), fifth in three-point baskets made per game (7.2), and second in blocks per game (4.8). Kelliher checks in at No. 4 in the rankings in field goal percentage (58.2%) while Mackay is sixth in three-point shooting percentage (41.4%). Trotter is sixth in the GLIAC in assists per game (3.6) and Welsh is 15th in assists per game (2.3). Botz ranks sixth in the conference in rebounding (8.2) while Kelliher is fifth in blocks per game (2.1).
SERIES VS NORTHWOOD
Michigan Tech owns a 56-18 lead in the all-time series with Northwood which began back in 1981. The Huskies have secured four straight victories, including the two previous battles during the 2018-19 campaign. Tech got past Northwood in Midland 78-68 on December 1st and followed that up with a 70-40 triumph over the Timberwolves on February 7th in Houghton. Botz had 21 points and nine rebounds in the road win and then at home Botz poured in 17 points for the Huskies against the Timberwolves. Mackay had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the home victory for Tech. The most recent win in the series for Northwood was a 61-52 decision on February 2nd, 2017 in Midland. Tuesday's quarterfinal game will be the 75th all-time meeting between the two programs.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Northwood enters the postseason with an overall record of 13-15 while completing the GLIAC schedule with an even mark of 10-10. The Timberwolves have played well down the stretch and are winners of their last two contests. Northwood powered past Saginaw Valley State 73-42 in the final regular season game on Thursday night. The Timberwolves topped Wayne State 78-72 on February 23rd and posted 73 points against Grand Valley State in an 87-73 loss on February 16th. Tuesday's game will be the first road test for the Timberwolves since a 68-59 win at Davenport on February 14th. Northwood had four straight games at home to close out the regular season.
The Timberwolves are one of the better defenses in the GLIAC, holding opponents to 64.1 points per game, which is fifth best in the league going into the tournament. Northwood is also a solid perimeter shooting team, ranking second in the conference in three-point baskets made per contest at 7.5. Ellie Taylor and Grace German are the top two point producers for the Timberwolves with scoring averages of 13.0 and 11.0 points per game respectively. German is converting on 55.8 percent of her chances from the field and leads the club in rebounding at 9.2 boards per night. Kenzie Seeley chips in 10.2 points per game and distributes a team best 3.8 assists per 40 minutes. As a team, Northwood is averaging 63.3 points per game this season.
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.
If the Huskies win Tuesday's quarterfinal game against Northwood, they will advance to the GLIAC Final Four which will be hosted by the highest remaining seed. The semifinal round is scheduled for Saturday with the tournament championship contest slated for Sunday.