HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team closed the weekend with a 64-38 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win over Purdue Northwest Saturday afternoon in the SDC. The Huskies have now won four straight games and swept regular season series against Northern Michigan, Grand Valley State, and now Purdue Northwest during this three game home stand.
"This was a really important weekend for us and it was great to get a victory today," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "I thought we played very well defensively and that was a big positive for us in this game. Our offense wasn't clicking as well as we would like and that happens sometimes, but we were able to rely on our defense. To hold any team to just 11 points in an entire half is something to be really proud of. I'm happy for our team and our players for being able to do that and we have to continue to get better every day."
Michigan Tech (18-3, 12-2 GLIAC), ranked 17th in the latest WBCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll, took control of the scoreboard early thanks to a 12-1 run in the first four minutes of the opening quarter. Senior Brenna Heise drilled a triple at the 7:45 mark followed a few seconds later by a trey from senior Kelli Guy. Senior Hannah Stoll tossed in a layup, junior Elizabeth Kelliher notched two points in the paint, and Heise capped the run with a mid-range jumper.
Meanwhile, the Tech defense prevented Purdue Northwest (3-16, 2-12 GLIAC) from getting a field goal until nearly five minutes into the quarter. Lanie Allen finally connected on a layup for the Pride to make it 12-3 with 5:20 on the first quarter clock. Sophomore Hannah Hobson quickly answered for the Huskies with two free throws and in the final minute of the quarter freshman Cassidy Trotter made her way into the paint for a layup, making it an 18-5 score going into the second period. The points for Trotter were the first two of what would be a career high 10 in the contest Saturday afternoon.
The Huskies continued to create more separation in the second quarter when Kelliher and senior Lindsay Winter recorded the first two baskets, extending the edge to 22-5. Tech would go up by as many as 25 points at 34-9 after two free throws by Heise with seven seconds to go in the half. Danielle Nennig posted the final two points of the half for the Pride and the Huskies carried a 34-11 advantage into the break.
Tech's defense kept Purdue Northwest from getting any closer that 19 points the rest of the afternoon. Heise pushed the Huskies lead to 49-23 on a layup in the last minute of the third quarter before senior Sarah LewAllen granted the Huskies their largest lead of the game at 64-36 thanks to a layup at the 3:40 mark of the fourth period.
Heise powered the Tech offense for the second straight game, firing in 23 points while grabbing five rebounds with three assists against the Pride. Heise recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Huskies 68-61 win over Grand Valley State Thursday night. Trotter followed Heise with 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists while Stoll and Kelliher each chipped in eight points. Kelliher led the Huskies on the glass with 10 rebounds, blocked four shots, and dished out four assists.
The Huskies converted 27 of 63 shots from the field (42.9%) and were 6 for 6 at the free throw line. Tech scored 36 points in the paint and scored 18 points after forcing 17 Pride turnovers. The Huskies also held a sizeable advantage on the boards, out-rebounding Purdue Northwest 48-36.
Shae Rhonehouse paced the Pride with seven points followed by Michaela Kikendall with six points. Jessica Kiser was Purdue Northwest's top rebounder with eight and added three points to the stat sheet. The Pride managed to make just 12 field goals (12-54, 22.2%) against a very tough Tech defense. The Huskies have held opponents to under 50 points five times this season.
Michigan Tech will be back on the road next week when the team travels to Saginaw Valley State and Northwood for a pair of GLIAC contests. The Huskies will face Saginaw Valley State first on Thursday at 6 p.m. followed by Northwood on Saturday at 1 p.m.