GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team rallied for an 85-81 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory in overtime Thursday night at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In a game the seesawed back and forth all night, the Huskies tied the game with less than 30 seconds to play in the fourth quarter and then battled back from a three-point deficit at the start of overtime to prevail over the Lakers.
"Tonight's game was a battle the entire time and a gutsy win for our team," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "This is a tough place to play and it wasn't the prettiest game we played under any circumstances because Grand Valley State makes you earn everything you get. It's very hard to score, get a stop on defense, and keep them from getting to the free throw line. If you can find a way to gut it out, which is exactly what we did tonight, you give yourself a chance to win and that's what we were able to do.
"Throughout the night there were different players stepping up at different times. Down the stretch when every possession is so important we continued to get key plays from everybody. It was an awesome win for us tonight and I'm proud of our players for gutting out a win against a very good Grand Valley State team on the road."
Michigan Tech (9-1, 3-0 GLIAC) took the lead before any time came off the clock Thursday night. A shot clock malfunction resulted in a technical foul against Grand Valley State (7-2, 2-1 GLIAC) and senior Lindsay Winter sank two free throws before the opening tip-off. Once things got rolling though, the Lakers reeled off seven straight points to take a 7-2 edge with 7:32 on the first quarter clock after a triple by Natalie Koenig.
The Huskies battled right back with a quick 5-0 run anchored by a triple from senior Kelli Guy and two free throws courtesy of junior Elizabeth Kelliher, tying the score 7-7 with 6:34 left in the first period. The Lakers would regain the lead at 10-7 on a trey by Koenig and then increase the gap to 18-9 with 2:42 left in the first before carrying a 20-14 lead into the second period.
With just over six minutes to go in the second quarter, Grand Valley State went up by nine points again at 27-18 following two free throws by Taylor Parmley. The Huskies then grabbed the momentum and the lead on the strength of a 13-2 scoring run over the next four minutes.
Senior Sarah LewAllen started the scoring burst with a layup and then knotted the score at 29-29 on a fast break bucket, started by a steal from senior Lindsay Winter. Winter then gave the Huskies the lead at 31-29 with 2:40 to play in the half. Senior Hannah Stoll dialed in a jumper with 21 seconds to go in the quarter, giving the Huskies their largest advantage to that point at 35-31. Koenig would notch the final points of the half for the Lakers to slice Tech's edge to 35-34 with 20 minutes in the books.
The Huskies had a quick start to the third quarter and built the lead to nine points at 49-40 on a Guy three-pointer by the time the clock hit 6:38. Grand Valley State then closed the gap to two points at 56-54 on a three-point basket from Korynn Hincka before a Megan Belke trey gave the Lakers the lead back at 57-56. Senior Brenna Heise put Tech on top again 58-57 right before the quarter ended and set the tone for a back and forth fourth quarter.
Neither side held a lead greater than five points in the fourth period. The Lakers generated that edge at 70-65 on a layup by Belke with 5:18 to go in regulation. Three minutes later, Winter pushed the Huskies back in front 71-70 on a jumper in the paint and then two free throws by Heise bumped the gap to 73-70 with 2:08 to play.
The Lakers would get the next four points to lead again 74-73 before a Heise free throw deadlocked the score again at 74-74 with 28 seconds left. Tech's defense then stood tall and prevented the Lakers from winning in regulation. A Hincka jumper rimmed in and out of the basket at the buzzer, sending the game into extra time.
The Lakers jumped out to a 77-74 lead one minute into overtime, but a couple of key layups by Kelliher helped keep GVSU from pulling away. Stoll eventually gave the Huskies the lead back at 80-79 with 1:12 to go. Cassidy Boensch tilted the scale back in the Lakers favor 81-80 on the ensuing possession, but a jumper in the lane by Heise put Tech back on top for good. The defense stepped up to force a pair of missed shots and then Stoll along with Heise iced the game away at the free throw line to seal the 85-81 victory.
Heise paced the Huskies with 22 points and was one of five players to score at least 12 points in Thursday's win. Guy followed with 17 points while Stoll and Winter chipped in with 14 points apiece. Kelliher rounded out the double digit scorers with 12 points in addition to four rebounds and three blocked shots. Winter dished out a career high 10 assists and just missed a triple double with a team high nine rebounds. The last Tech player to notch a triple double was Sam Hoyt (18 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) against Concordia St. Paul in 2012.
As a team, the Huskies were successful on 32 of 59 shots from the field (54.2%), were 5 of 14 from behind the three-point arc (35.7%), and 16 of 20 at the free throw line (80.0%). Tech dealt out 15 assists and forced 15 Laker turnovers, resulting in 17 points on the offensive end of the floor.
Parmley guided the Lakers with 21 points and 11 rebounds followed by Hincka with 19 points and seven boards Thursday night. Jenn DeBoer and Koenig each tossed in 11 points and Boensch delivered 10 pints off the bench. Grand Valley State connected on 28 of 67 shots from the field (41.8%), made 5 of 11 attempts from three-point range (45.5%), and made good on 20 of 24 opportunities at the free throw line (83.3%).
The Huskies will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Purdue Northwest for another GLIAC contest. The tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.