SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team recorded an 82-54 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win over Davenport Thursday afternoon in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The Huskies outscored the Panthers 24-4 in the second quarter to pull away and grab the momentum after a tightly contested first quarter.
"Our second quarter was really good today, holding them to just four points," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "We are heading into the final segment of our season before the tournament starts and we have to continue to focus on our consistency. There are so many signs of greatness on our team which we see on the court. I'm proud of our players because I felt like there was big effort made and they took pride in this game. As we start putting things together for the stretch run, this was a good confidence builder for us going into the second half of the GLIAC schedule."
Davenport (7-11, 5-6 GLIAC) struck first on a pair of free throws by Hannah Wilkerson 43 seconds into the game. Michigan Tech (15-3, 9-2 GLIAC), ranked 18th in the most recent WBCA NCAA Division II Coaches' Poll, kept the Panthers from adding any more points until junior Elizabeth Kelliher got the Huskies on the board with a layup.
Jenna Falkenberg gave the edge back to Davenport momentarily at 4-2 on a layup with 6:53 to go in the quarter, but the Huskies would answer with six straight points to grab the lead. Senior's Brenna Heise and Hannah Stoll connected on back to back jumpers followed by a steal courtesy of senior Kelli Guy that setup a Kelliher layup. The bucket gave Tech an 8-4 advantage with 5:32 left in the quarter.
Sophomore Hannah Hobson increased the gap to 15-9 on a triple a few minutes later and Tech maintained a six-point advantage at 17-11 after layup from junior Michelle LaFave with just over a minute to play in the first period. Taylor Smith then converted a pair of free throws for Davenport before the end of the quarter to make it a 17-13 score with 10 minutes in the books.
The Huskies took control of the game in the second quarter on the strength of a 15-0 scoring burst to open it up. Meanwhile, Tech's defense prevented the Panthers from scoring for nearly the first seven minutes of the second. Stoll delivered the first points of the quarter on a mid-range jumper followed by two free throws from Kelliher.
Heise, LaFave, Hobson, and sophomore Baillie McGirk all contributed points during the scoring run. A Heise layup capped the run with 3:27 to go in the half and gave the Huskies a 32-13 lead. Jenna Falkenberg broke the Panthers scoring drought on a layup at the 3:07 mark, but the Huskies would tack on nine more points before the buzzer. Davenport was limited to just two as the Huskies carried a 41-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The points were distributed fairly evenly in both the third and fourth quarters, but Tech was still able to added to the advantage. The Huskies outscored the Panthers 25-22 in the third and 16-15 in the fourth quarter, leading to the 82-54 final. It was the eighth time this season that Tech has scored 80 or more points in a game.
Kelliher powered the Huskies for the second straight contest with a game high 18 points and six rebounds. Heise followed with 14 points and added six rebounds of her own. LaFave chipped in 10 points off the bench to round out the double digit scorers. Senior Lindsay Winter posted nine points and seven assists while Guy contributed six points and five steals.
As a team, the Huskies converted 33 of 62 shots from the field (53.2%), were 7 of 12 from three-point range (58.3%), and made 9 of 10 opportunities at the free throw line (90.0%). Tech also forced the Panthers into 23 turnovers which led to 28 points on the offensive end of the floor. The Huskies also recorded nearly half of their points in the paint with 38.
Claire Austin led the Panther with 10 points followed by Emily Severn with nine points Thursday afternoon. Falkenberg grabbed six rebounds and notched four points while Amanda Merz dished out six assists. Davenport was limited 19 field goals in 51 total attempts (37.3%) by the Michigan Tech defense.
The Huskies will be back on the court Sunday afternoon when they host rival Northern Michigan in the SDC Gym at 1 p.m. It will be the second meeting of the season between the two clubs with Tech prevailing in the first matchup 59-56 in Marquette on December 17th.