HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team secured win number three in a row with an impressive 69-55 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory against Wayne State Thursday night at the SDC Gym. The Huskies led by just one point at 31-30 at the intermission, but used a strong second half to outpace the Warriors 38-25 to pull away.
"You could kind of tell that we had not played in a while early in the game," Michigan Tech Head Coach Sam Hoyt said. "We missed some layups in the first half, but luckily our defense kept us in it and we defended well enough to be up one at halftime. We were able to adjust in the second half and played much better in the final two quarters. It was awesome to see both Hannah [Hobson] and Ellie [Welsh] hit some big shots because they are both very capable shooters.
"It was huge to get a win tonight going into the Ashland game on Saturday. With our momentum right now, we are in a great place in terms of our mindset and we have grown a ton throughout the season so far. I feel like our chemistry is great and can't wait to see how our players approach Saturday's game against one of the top teams in the country."
Michigan Tech (5-6, 3-1 GLIAC) got on the board first Thursday night when junior Cassidy Trotter dialed in a triple following a turnover by Wayne State (7-5, 1-3 GLIAC). The Warriors were then able to counter with the next four points to grab a 4-3 lead on layups from Sadia Johnson and Nastassja Chambers.
Trailing 9-8 with just under six minutes to go in the first quarter, the Huskies put together an 8-0 scoring run to go up 16-9 at the 2:56 mark. Senior Michelle LaFave had five of the eight points while sophomore Ellie Mackay tacked on the other three points during that stretch. Sam Cherney cashed in a layup for the Warriors, making it a 16-10 score in favor of Tech with 10 minutes in the books.
Neither side could create any separation in the second quarter, with the Huskies holding the largest lead at 21-15 in the frame courtesy of a jumper from Mackay. The Warriors enjoyed three point leads twice in the second quarter before back to back triples by senior Hannah Hobson helped give the Huskies their 31-30 edge at the intermission.
Johnson propelled the Warriors back into the lead 39-36 on a three-point bucket with 6:25 to go in the third period. However, the Huskies were able to turn the tables on Wayne State for the remainder of the third quarter and into the fourth. Senior Ellie Welsh tossed in consecutive triples to ignite a 10-0 Tech run, which culminated on a Trotter layup with 2:03 to play in the third. Trotter then closed the quarter out with a layup to grant Tech a 50-42 advantage with 10 minutes remaining.
The Huskies produced the first eight points in the fourth quarter and increased the gap to 58-42 with 7:17 showing on the clock. Welsh eventually gave the Huskies their largest lead of the evening at 69-46 on her five triple of the contest with 2:29 to go. The Warriors made up a little ground in the later stages of the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
Hobson matched a career high with 19 points to power the Michigan Tech offense Thursday night. Hobson found the target on 7 of 14 field goal attempts, including sinking 5 of 6 chances from behind the arc. Welsh also equaled a career high with 15 points by going 5 for 7 from long distance. Mackay rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points and had three of Tech's 10 blocked shots in the game. Senior Abbie Botz grabbed eight rebounds, dished out four assists, and had two blocked shots.
The Huskies made 26 of 65 shots from the field (40.0%), were 12 of 24 from three-point range (50.0%), and 5 of 8 at the free throw line (62.5%). Tech combined for 19 team assists and forced 17 Wayne State turnovers which resulted in 22 points. Each side had 24 points in the paint.
Grace George and Johnson each had 13 points to guide the Warriors offense on Thursday. George combined with Cherney to haul down a game high 14 rebounds. George had five steals and Cherney ended the night with three blocked shots. Tech's defense limited the Warriors to only 19 successful field goals on 66 total attempts (28.8%). Wayne State made 7 of 24 looks from three-point range (29.2%) and went 10 for 11 at the charity stripe (90.9%). The Warriors had the advantage in rebounding 50-40.
The Huskies will close out their seven-game home stand on Saturday when they host Ashland University starting at 1 p.m. eastern time. The Eagles topped Northern Michigan 80-39 to begin their week Thursday evening.