CROOKSTON, Minn. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team recorded their fourth win in a row to start the season Friday night, defeating Minnesota-Crookston on the road 68-52. The Huskies used a strong first half to establish a double digit lead and the defense never let the Golden Eagles get into a rhythm, limiting their offense to 14 points or less each quarter.
"This was another really good win for us tonight on the road against a good team," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "Playing against two good teams on back to back nights can be tough physically and mentally, but I thought our players handled that very well. We did a great job defensively and the players who came off the bench brought a lot of energy. Lindsay [Winter] and Kelli [Guy] led us again tonight with some big shots in key moments and have come ready to play each game. I'm really proud of our players and their efforts and look forward to playing at home in the SDC Gym on Monday."
Michigan Tech (4-0) won the opening tip and with the shot clock running down, senior Brenna Heise recorded the first two points of the game on a jumper which was setup by an assist from senior Lindsay Winter. Minnesota-Crookston (0-1) briefly tied the game at 2-2 on a pair of free throws by Isieoma Odor a few seconds later, but the score wouldn't remain deadlocked for long.
Senior Kelli Guy got to the rim for a layup to make it 4-2 with 8:37 remaining in the first quarter and from there the score remained in the Huskies favor the rest of the night. Guy's bucket started a 7-0 run that gave Tech a 9-2 lead after a layup from junior Elizabeth Kelliher and a three-pointer by Winter found the bottom of the net.
The Huskies built their first double digit lead at 17-7 on a layup by junior Michelle LaFave and then after a basket by Emily Gruber of Minnesota-Crookston, LaFave answered with a jumper to make it 19-9 with 2:42 left in the first. The Golden Eagles would pick up the final four points of the of the first period and close the gap to six at 19-13 with 10 minutes in the books.
Guy immediately put an end to the Golden Eagles mini run when she knocked down a triple to begin the second quarter and then Heise gave the Huskies a double digit lead again at 24-13 on a layup at the 9:22 mark of the second quarter. Tech's lead fluctuated from double digits to single digits until late in the second when a Guy triple and layup courtesy of sophomore Abbie Botz created a 38-24 advantage with 2:34 left in the first half. Botz helped the Huskies maintain that 14-point lead at 40-26 when she beat the buzzer on a layup to close the second quarter.
Minnesota-Crookston pulled two within nine points at 56-47 with 5:13 left in the fourth quarter, but the Huskies quickly countered to keep the Golden Eagles from drawing any closer. Senior Hannah Stoll hit a jumper at the five-minute mark followed by a layup from Kelliher, a jumper from Winter, a conventional three-point play by Stoll, and two free throws by Guy with just under two minutes to play. The 11-0 run by the Huskies during that three-minute span put the game out of reach.
Winter powered the Huskies with a game high 18 points as she made good on 7 of 12 shots from the field. She also grabbed six rebounds, dished out three assists and had one steal. Guy tacked on 16 points to go along with three assists, three steals, and two rebounds while LaFave rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points and three rebounds. Kelliher chipped in eight points, had a team high seven rebounds, and three blocked shots.
The Huskies were successful on 28 of 65 shot attempts from the field (43.1%), were 6 of 15 from three-point range (40.0%), and 6 of 8 at the free throw line (75.0%). Tech's defense combined to block eight Minnesota-Crookston Shots on the night.
The Golden Eagles had one player with double digit point totals and that was Odor with 13 points and a game high 11 rebounds. Micaela Noga added nine points and eight rebounds in the contest. Minnesota-Crookston connected on 17 of 48 shots from the field (35.4%), were 2 of 7 from behind the arc (28.6%), and 16 of 22 at the free throw line (72.7%).
The Huskies will be back on the court Monday night in their home opener against Minnesota Duluth at the SDC Gym. The tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.