Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Thurs. Feb. 27 • 7:30 p.m. at Northern Michigan
Michigan Tech (10-16, 8-11 GLIAC) at Northern Michigan (13-14, 10-9 GLIAC)
TV: FOX UP (Mark Evans and Dave Ellis)
Radio: Mix93 FM WKMJ (Kirk McDonnell)
Video Stream: https://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/wbkb/2019-20/schedule
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Live Stats: https://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/wbkb/2019-20/schedule
2019-20 WEEK 15 IN REVIEW
Michigan Tech split a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games last week in the final two home contests of the 2019-20 season. The Huskies topped the Panthers 74-60 last Thursday and competed well against one of the top ranked teams in the nation in Grand Valley State, falling 70-49.
On Thursday against Davenport, sophomore Ellie Mackay powered the Huskies attack with a career high 27 points thanks in part to a 7 for 9 shooting performance from behind the arc. She also added five rebounds, three assists, and two steals to the stat sheet Thursday evening. Mackay's previous career high of 25 points was set earlier this season on November 18 at Minnesota State. Senior Abbie Botz followed with 10 points and a game high 13 rebounds while senior Hannah Hobson and freshman Katelyn Meister collected seven points each. Junior Cassidy Trotter chipped in four points and dished out a team high six assists. As a team, Tech wrapped up the game making 28 of 55 shots from the field (50.9%), were 12 of 28 from three-point range (42.9%), and 6 for 8 at the free throw line (75.0%). The Huskies out-rebounded the Panthers 42-31, combined for 19 assists, and had 28 points in the paint.
In Saturday's game with the Lakers, the Huskies battled them to a 27-27 tie through 20 minutes before Grand Valley State put together a strong second half to pull away. Trotter paced the Huskies with 15 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and dished out four assists in the game. Botz followed with 14 points and hauled down a game high 12 rebounds while freshman Sara Dax and sophomore Mackay chipped in seven and six points respectively. As a team, the Huskies connected on 19 of 62 shots from the field (30.6%), were 5 of 16 from three-point range (31.3%), and converted 6 of 7 chances at the free throw line (85.7%). Tech out-rebounded the Lakers 43-34 and scored 28 points in the paint.
BOTZ GENERATES POINTS AND HAULS DOWN REBOUNDS
Senior forward Abbie Botz had a huge week in the final two home games for the Huskies. Botz, who hails from Little Chute, Wisconsin, had two double-doubles with 10 points and 14 points plus 13 rebounds and 12 rebounds respectively. She also converted 55.0% of her field goals and made 2 of 3 attempts from behind the arc. She combined for nine offensive rebounds and five steals on the defensive end of the floor. On the season, Botz is averaging 9.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for the Huskies. She enters the final regular season game with seven double-doubles in 2019-20.
The Huskies enter Thursday's game at Northern Michigan tied for seventh in the overall standings with Saginaw Valley State. Tech can clinch at least the No. 8 seed with a win over the Wildcats and possibly move up to the No. 7 seed, depending on what happens in other games around the conference. Ties in the standings are broken by a points system that takes into account a variety of factors. Saginaw Valley State currently owns the tiebreaker with Tech for the No. 7 seed.
GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
The Huskies are now 26 games into the 2019-20 season and they rank near the top of the conference in a number of statistical categories. The Huskies are third in the conference in fewest turnovers per game (14.4). Tech is sixth in successful three-point baskets per contest (6.8) and fourth in three-point shooting percentage (32.8). The Huskies check in at No. 2 in free throw shooting percentage at 80.0 percent. Tech is fifth in the GLIAC in steals per game (8.3) and fourth in blocked shots per game (3.4). Trotter and Mackay are both ranked 16th in the GLIAC in scoring at 12.4 points per game with Botz holding the No. 5 spot in the conference in rebounds per game (8.0). Trotter enters this Thursday sixth in the GLIAC in assists per game at 3.8 while ranking second in the GLIAC with a 2.7 steals per game average.
GLIAC PRESEASON POLL
Michigan Tech was selected to finish first in the GLIAC North Division this year when the coaches' preseason poll was announced Thursday by the conference office. Tech earned 58 points in the poll along with eight first place votes, edging out Northern Michigan who was picked second with 53 points and four first place votes. Ferris State checked in at the No. 3 spot in the North Division with 40 points followed by Parkside with 32 points (No. 4), Lake Superior State had 19 points (No. 5), and Purdue Northwest was issued 14 points (No. 6). Over in the South Division, Grand Valley State holds the No. 1 spot with 61 points and 11 first place votes followed by Ashland University with 51 points and one first place vote. Northwood checks in at No. 3 with 38 points, Wayne State is fourth with 30 points, Davenport lands in the No. 5 spot with 20 points, and Saginaw Valley State is sixth with 16 points.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Northern Michigan is 13-14 overall and 10-9 in the GLIAC coming into Thursday's game at the Berry Events Center. The Wildcats defeated Davenport this past Saturday 72-63, which snapped a three game losing skid. Northern Michigan has already secured a spot in the upcoming GLIAC Tournament that begins on Tuesday. Northern Michigan's defense ranks second in the league in fewest points allowed per game (57.2) and holding opponents to a 38.7% shooting clip from the field. The Wildcats are also blocking 3.2 shots per game, which is fifth in the GLIAC. Northern Michigan's offense is only producing 52.8 points per game this season. Jessica Schultz is the top scorer on the club thanks to a 14.4 points per game average. She also paces the team in rebounds with 6.8 boards each time she takes the floor. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 53-48, but Tech has won six in a row, including a 68-28 victory at the SDC Gym back on December 15. It was the fewest points allowed in the history of the all-time series between the Huskies and the Wildcats, which dates back to 1976. Tech surrendered only 37 points to Northern Michigan in a 72-37 win at home on February 23, 2017. Trotter connected on 7 of 10 shots from the field, went 3 for 5 from behind the arc, and 6 for 6 at the free throw line to power the Huskies' offense with 23 points in the first meeting of the season. The last time Northern Michigan defeated Tech was on January 30, 2017 on a 66-55 decision in Marquette.
Sam Hoyt was named as the ninth head coach of the Michigan Tech women's basketball program, Director of Athletics Suzanne Sanregret announced Tuesday (May 29, 2018). Hoyt returns to Tech from the University of Sioux Falls where she served as an assistant coach. Hoyt was a standout player for the Huskies, helping lead the program to the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship game as well as garnering multiple individual awards, including All-American Honorable Mention honors. In her first season at Tech (2018-19), Hoyt guided the Huskies to a 21-9 overall record and a 16-4 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Huskies claimed their 16th GLIAC North Division/Conference title last season and were the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.
The Huskies are battling for a spot in the GLIAC Tournament which begins on Tuesday March 3. If Tech makes it in, they will be on the road for the quarterfinal contest. The opponent and time are still to be determined.