Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Sat. Mar. 9 • 4:30 p.m. vs Ashland • Sunday Mar. 10 TBA • GVSU Fieldhouse Arena
Michigan Tech (21-8) vs Ashland (27-2) vs TBA
Radio: WKMJ Mix 93 FM (Kirk McDonnell)
Video Stream: ESPN3
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Live Stats: http://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/wbkb/2018-19/schedule
HUSKIES POWER PAST NORTHWOOD IN GLIAC QUARTERFINALS
Michigan Tech engineered a strong second half to pull away for a 78-48 victory over Northwood University Tuesday night in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinals at the SDC Gym. The Huskies outscored the Timberwolves 47-21 over the final 20 minutes and had four players post 10 or more points in the win. Tech turned in a big third quarter to establish the momentum and create some much needed separation from the Timberwolves. The Huskies limited the Northwood offense to only eight points in the third frame while Tech's offense registered 20 to go up by 16 points at 51-35. The Huskies kept things rolling with a 27-13 fourth quarter.
Sophomore Cassidy Trotter powered the offense with 20 points, connecting on 9 of 14 attempts from the field while adding five rebounds, a team high four assists, two blocks, and two steals. Senior Elizabeth Kelliher followed with 12 points and shared the team lead in rebounds with eight Tuesday night. Kelliher now needs just five points to reach 1,000 for her career at Tech. Junior Abbie Botz contributed 11 points and eight boards while freshman Sloane Zenner rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points.
GLIAC FINAL FOUR
Michigan Tech is headed back to the GLIAC Final Four for the first time since the 2016-17 season when the tournament was hosted by Ashland University. The Huskies are in the postseason for the 29th straight year and have seven GLIAC Tournament titles to their credit. The last tournament championship by the Huskies took place in 2015 when Tech defeated Ashland University 68-52 in Houghton. The Huskies also emerged victorious in the championship contest in 2011, 2010, 2008, 2001, 1999, and 1993. The top four seeds in this years tournament all advanced to Allendale. Tech is the No.3 seed and will battle the No. 2 seed Ashland while the top seed Grand Valley State meets the No. 4 seed Northern Michigan in Saturday's other semifinal game. The winner's of the two semifinal games will collide in the championship game Sunday at 3 p.m., with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Midwest Region Tournament next week.
HUSKIES RANKED 8TH IN NCAA MIDWEST REGION POLL
Michigan Tech climbed two spots to No. 8 in the third NCAA Division II Midwest Region Poll, announced Wednesday by the national office. The Huskies, who were also ranked eighth in first poll two weeks ago, continued to be one of four Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams ranked in this third poll. Tuesday's win over Northwood did not factor in to Wednesday's poll, but could play a role in the final ranking which will determine the participants in the NCAA Midwest Region Tournament coming up next week. The tournament field will be announced this Sunday night at 10 p.m. eastern time, with the top eight teams from each region advancing to NCAA regional competition. The breakdown for GLIAC Teams in the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Rankings this week include Grand Valley State remaining at No. 3 followed by Ashland at No. 4. Michigan Tech is No. 8 while Northern Michigan fell to No.9 in this week's poll.
GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
The Huskies are 29 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 65.4 points per game, fifth in the conference in assists per game (14.2), third in opponents field goal percentage (36.6%), and second in opponents three-point percentage (28.8%). The Huskies are third in points allowed per game (56.1), fourth in field goals made per game (25.0), third in field goal percentage (44.0%), second in three-point shooting percentage (36.8%), and second in blocks per game (4.8). Kelliher checks in at No. 2 in the rankings in field goal percentage (58.5%) while freshman Ellie Mackay is fifth in three-point shooting percentage (41.7%). Trotter is fifth in the GLIAC in assists per game (3.7) and junior Ellie 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 ASHLAND
Michigan Tech will play Ashland for the second time this year, with the two sides meeting just one time during the regular season. The Eagles claimed an 80-58 win on their home floor January 3rd, but it was a close first half with the Huskies trailing by just two points at 29-27. Mackay and junior Hannah Hobson guided the offense that night with 13 points apiece. Each player knocked down 50 percent of their shots from the field and combined for seven successful three-point tries. Ashland holds a slight 18-17 edge in the all-time series and has won six in a row against Tech. The Huskies most recent win over the Eagles occurred on March 8th, 2015 in the GLIAC Tournament Championship game at the SDC Gym. Tech prevailed that day 68-52 behind 18 points from Kelli Guy. That victory marked the third win in a row for Tech over Ashland at the time. The Huskies battled the Eagles in the 2017 GLIAC Tournament Semifinals round as well, falling 81-59 in Ashland.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Ashland enters the GLIAC Final Four with an overall record of 27-2, with their only setbacks to Grand Valley State. The Eagles are fourth in the latest NCAA Midwest Region Poll and sixth in the most recent WBCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll which was released Tuesday prior to the quarterfinal games. Ashland leads the GLIAC in numerous statistical categories including points per game (89.4), field goal percentage (49.6%), total rebounds per game (41.8), and steals per game (10.0). The Eagles' defense enters the weekend fourth in the conference in fewest points allowed per contest at 63.1.
Jodi Johnson powers the Eagles attack and is second in the GLIAC in scoring at 18.8 points per game. She also has the top success rate in shots from the field at 59.5 percent in terms of team rankings and GLIAC rankings. Sara Loomis follows with a 15.5 points per game and averages a double-double each time she takes the floor thanks to a team leading 10.0 rebounds per game average. That number is also second best in the GLIAC behind only Cassidy Boensch of Grand Valley State who reels in 12.0 boards per game. The Eagles have two other players who post double digits in regards to points per game with Maddie Dackin and Karlee Pireu chipping in 12.0 and 11.3 points per game respectively.
Potential opponents in the the title game on Sunday are Grand Valley State and Northern Michigan. The Lakers boast an overall record of 27-2 as well and are led by Boensch at 20.1 points per game. Grand Valley State's offense is second in the GLIAC with a 75.1 points per game average. Northern Michigan is 21-8 going into the semifinals and are paced by Darby Youngstrom who tosses in 10.9 points per game. The Wildcats have the top defense in the GLIAC in regards to points allowed per game at 51.0.
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 defeat Ashland in the semifinal round Saturday, they will advance to the GLIAC Tournament Championship game Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. eastern time to face either Grand Valley State or Northern Michigan. The winner of the GLIAC Tournament earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament.