HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team closed the first week of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contests with an impressive 81-54 at home in the SDC against Northwood University. The Huskies used a 12-2 run in the first quarter to set the tone and never trailed on their way to their eighth overall victory and second in the conference.
"I am really proud of our team and our effort in today's game," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "We focused on our defense this week and I thought the team really took pride in making Northwood have to earn their baskets. Our entire team did a great job of defending some really good offensive players.
"It's really fun to see our team playing so well offensively and defensively and to see our players feel and feed off of that success. Being able to sustain that level of play for the 40 minutes is the challenge that we are working on right now, but to play as well as we are capable of at home feels really good. We put together two really good defensive games and I'm proud of that. We are going to be tested again next week, but hopefully we are headed in the right direction."
Michigan Tech (8-1, 2-0 GLIAC) reeled off seven straight points to open the contest, with junior Elizabeth Kelliher collecting the first two on a layup in the first minute. Kelliher then blocked her first of six total shots which setup a triple by senior Kelli Guy to make it 5-0. Kelliher then worked her way into the paint for another layup to extend the lead to 7-0 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Maddy Seely put Northwood (4-3, 1-1 GLIAC) on the board for the first time with a jumper at the 7:18 mark, but the Huskies earned the next five points on a layup from Kelliher and three-point shot from Guy. Tech went ahead by as many as 13 points at 26-13 in the first quarter after a trey by sophomore Hannah Hobson found the target with 39 seconds on the clock.
Michigan Tech kept things rolling into the second quarter and continued to create more separation from the Timberwolves. About midway through the second quarter, Guy connected on her third three-pointer of the afternoon to give the Huskies a 20-point advantage at 39-19. Northwood drew to within 17 points at 48-31 with 55 seconds remaining in the half on a layup from Karli Herrington, but senior Brenna Heise dropped in a layup just before the buzzer to bump Tech's lead back up to 50-31 going into the break.
The Timberwolves chopped three points off of their deficit by the end of the third quarter when Seeley closed the period with a layup to make it 64-48. However, the Huskies would erase any thought of a comeback by Northwood at the start of the fourth. Tech engineered an 8-0 scoring burst courtesy of layups by Hobson, senior Hanna Stoll, and sophomore Abbie Botz to make it a 72-48 score with 6:12 left in the contest. The Huskies boosted their lead to 29 points at 81-52 on free throws by sophomore Ellie Welsh with just under two minutes to go, which proved to be the biggest gap of the night.
The Huskies had three players with double digit point totals Saturday, led by Guy with 15 points. Kelliher was 5 of 7 from the field and ended the afternoon with 13 points and a season high six blocked shots in addition to five rebounds. Heise tacked on 13 points and hauled down a team high six rebounds. Senior Lindsay Winter chipped in with five points and dished out a career best nine assists. In total, 12 different Tech players had at least two points in the victory.
The Huskies knocked down 31 of 57 shots from the field (54.4%), were 8 of 16 from three-point land (50.0%), and 11 of 15 at the free throw line (73.3%). Tech dominated the paint by scoring 42 points from point blank range while holding a sizeable advantage in rebounding 37-25. As a team, the Huskies also dealt out 18 assists.
Seeley and Herrington ended the afternoon with a team high 14 points for Northwood while Tech's defense limited Lindsay Orwat to 10 points. Herrington just missed a double-double by pulling down a game high nine rebounds. The Timberwolves converted just 14 of 47 total shot attempts from the field, were 3 of 12 from behind the arc (25.0%), and 23 of 28 at the free throw line (82.1%).
Michigan Tech goes back on the road next week to battle Grand Valley State and Purdue Northwest in GLIAC matchups. The Huskies will face the Lakers Thursday night at 8 p.m. before taking on the Pride at 2 p.m. Saturday.