DULUTH, Minn. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team tipped off the 2016-17 season on Saturday afternoon and came away with a 60-47 victory at Minnesota Duluth. The Huskies jumped out in front in the first quarter and never trailed on their way to the win.
"We are really happy with how we played today," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "You never know how things are going to go for sure in the first game, especially with a couple of players who have not played in a year and two new players playing for the first time. We battled some foul trouble early, but were able to overcome it and push through. We had some players step up and make some big plays at the right times. Kelli Guy and Morgan Anderson had some key plays for us especially in the first half. On defense, we met all of our goals and had a ton of blocked shots. Elizabeth Kelliher had a great night defensively with three blocked shots to go with her point production on offense."
Michigan Tech (1-0) set the tone in the opening minute of the first quarter, starting with a Kelli Guy jumper for the first two points of the night. Morgan Anderson followed with a triple at the 8:56 mark of the first quarter and just like that the Huskies were on top 5-0. Tech then extended the lead to 7-0 on an Elizabeth Kelliher jumper with 6:45 on the clock to cap a 7-0 run to begin the afternoon.
Taylor Meyer notched the first two points for Minnesota Duluth (0-1) with just over six minutes to go in the first period to cut the Tech lead to 7-2. The Huskies then engineered another 7-2 scoring burst which culminated on a Brenna Heise field goal with 2:39 on the first quarter clock, making it a 14-4 score. However, the Bulldogs were able to close the quarter with a 4-0 run, slicing the lead for Tech to 14-8 after ten minutes were in the books.
With 4:02 left in the first half, Michigan Tech established its largest lead to that point when Anderson dialed up a triple for a 22-12 edge. Meyer brought the Bulldogs back within six at 22-16 on a jumper, but three pointers by Guy and Anderson pushed the advantage for the Huskies to 28-16 with 22 second left in the first half. Jenna Orr connected on the final basket of the half for the Bulldogs and the Huskies would carry a 28-18 lead into the break.
UMD closed the gap to 34-28 with 6:05 left in the third quarter on a layup from Taylor, but the Huskies would wrap up the third frame on a 12-2 run and lead 46-30 through 30 minutes. Heise, Kelliher, Hannah Stoll, Anderson, and Elisa Jurmu all had big buckets for the Huskies to help them finish strong. The Bulldogs couldn't close the gap to within single digits the rest of the way as Tech went on to the 60-47 win.
Anderson and Kelliher powered the Tech offense with 14 points apiece followed by Heise with 11 and Guy with 10. Kelliher made good on 6 of 8 shots from the field, grabbed six rebounds and provided three blocked shots. Guy anchored the Huskies on the glass with seven rebounds and dished out a team high four assists. Jurmu chipped in six points and Stoll tossed in four points in the Tech victory.
As a team, the Huskies were 24 of 62 from the field (38.7%), 9 of 24 from three-point range (37.5%), and 3 of 6 at the charity stripe (50.0%). Tech had a combined nine blocked shots and out-rebounded Minnesota Duluth 43-38. The Huskies secured eight points on the fast break and their largest lead of the night was 19 points.
Meyer had 12 points to pace the Bulldogs on Saturday followed by Josie Buckley with 11 points off the bench. Buckley was also the top rebounder on the team with seven boards on Saturday. As a team, UMD tossed in 21 of 61 attempts from the field (34.4%), were 2 of 12 from three-point range (16.7%), and 3 of 6 (50.0%) from the free throw line.
The Huskies will return to the court on Friday when they host Minnesota-Crookston followed by a showdown with Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday. The tip-off for Friday's game is 5:30 and Saturday's contest is scheduled for 4 p.m.