DETROIT, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team outlasted Wayne State 66-64 in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference battle that went down to the wire Thursday night in Detroit. Senior Morgan Anderson fired in the game winning shot with four seconds left and the defense forced an errant triple try by the Warriors as time expired.
"This was a tough win for us tonight against a good Wayne State team," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "We had a lot of players step up for us and hit some big shots when we needed them. Morgan [Anderson] and Lindsay [Winter] were huge for us in the fourth quarter and Kelli [Guy] connected on back to back three-pointers at the end of the third. Brenna [Heise] gave us a big lift on offense throughout the night. She is tough to stop when she's able to get the jumpers to fall which was the case in tonight's game. We performed well under pressure and I'm proud of the effort from our team to come away with a big win on the road which is never an easy thing to do in this conference."
Redshirt junior Brenna Heise got things rolling on offense for Michigan Tech (10-3, 6-2 GLIAC) at the outset of Thursday night's game. Heise found the bottom of the net on the first of her 10 successful field goal tries with 9:13 on the first quarter clock. Following a Wayne State (5-10, 2-6 GLIAC) bucket courtesy of Christina Green, sophomore Elizabeth Kelliher dropped in a layup to give the Huskies a 4-2 edge with 6:18 remaining in the first quarter.
The Warriors countered with an 8-0 run over the next three minutes to build what turned out to be their largest lead of the night at 10-4 at the 3:31 mark of the first period. The final 3:31 of the first belonged to Tech thanks to a 9-0 scoring burst. Junior Hannah Stoll produced consecutive jumpers followed by five points from redshirt junior Kelli Guy to give the Huskies a 13-10 advantage going into the second quarter.
Both teams traded baskets throughout the second quarter with neither side owning more than a three-point lead. Anderson dialed in a trey with 2:46 to go until the half which momentarily sent Tech in front 23-20. Wayne State picked up the next five points on a layup by Green and a three-point field from Shannon Wilson. Heise knotted the score at 25-25 right before the buzzer and gave the Huskies a little momentum going into the intermission.
The script for the third quarter didn't stray far from the one in the second with the two clubs answering each other bucket for bucket. In total, Thursday night's game featured 16 ties and 12 lead changes. Leading 38-37 with just under four minutes to go in the third, the Huskies were able to create some separation when Guy hoisted in a pair of treys in addition to a Heise jumper to wrap up the scoring. The baskets handed Tech a 46-41 edge going into the final 10 minutes of play.
The Huskies' lead grew to six points at 50-44 on a Heise jumper with 8:01 on the fourth quarter clock. However, the Warriors wouldn't go away and stormed back with consecutive three pointers from Jessica Murphy and Indian Hawkins to tie the game at 50-50. The contest reverted to back and forth mode from there all the way to the final buzzer.
Anderson gave Tech the lead again at 64-61 on a triple with 32 seconds to play only to see the Warriors counter with a conventional three-point play to deadlock the game again at 64-64. Wilson was fouled on a short jumper and converted the free throw with 28 seconds remaining.
Tech called a timeout to advance the ball into the front court and draw up what would be the game winning play. With the shot clock off and time ticking down, Anderson weaved her way into the low post where she found some space in the defense to drop in the game winning layup. Wayne State had one more chance with four seconds to go, but the Tech defense made Nastassja Chambers take a deep three that went left of the basket, preserving the 66-64 win.
The Huskies were powered by Heise who poured in 20 points by sinking 10 of her 13 shots from the field. Thursday's performance marked the third time that Heise has scored 20 or more points in a game this season. Heise also grabbed six rebounds, dished out two assists, blocked one shot, and came up with a steal in addition to her point production.
Anderson contributed 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists while Guy and junior Lindsay Winter each had 11 points. Winter pulled down a team high eight rebounds and scored seven of her points in crunch time during the fourth quarter.
As a team, the Huskies converted 28 of 62 shots from the field (45.2%), were 7 of 19 from three-point range (36.8%), and 3 of 7 from the free throw line (42.9%). Tech out-rebounded Wayne State 40-29 with 16 boards coming on the offensive end of the floor.
The Warriors were paced by Green with 14 points followed by Wilson and Hawkins with 13 points apiece. Chambers ended the night with 12 points while Jessica Murphy hauled down a game high nine rebounds. Wayne State made 24 of 55 shots from the field (43.6%), were 5 of 15 from three-point range (33.3%), and 11 of 13 at the free throw line (84.6%).
The Huskies will wrap up their four game road trip on Saturday when they head to Saginaw Valley State for another GLIAC contest. The tip-off is slated for 1 p.m.