Tech women hold off Parkside for 15th straight win on Senior Day

MTU women's coach Sam Hoyt cuts the net after her team captures the GLIAC regular season title.
MTU women's coach Sam Hoyt cuts the net after her team captures the GLIAC regular season title.(WLUC)
Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 8:53 PM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - No. 10 Michigan Tech women’s basketball took home its 15th victory in a row Saturday after defeating Wisconsin-Parkside 72-70 on Senior Day inside SDC Gymnasium. The Huskies won their 17th Great Lakes Intercollegiate regular season conference title and head into the postseason Thursday as the No. 1 seed.

Forward Jordan Ludescher paced the Huskies with her second straight double-double of 29 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks. Ludescher shot 12-for-16 from the floor and Michigan Tech held off a late charge by the Rangers. Cassidy Trotter also had 13 points and Baillie McGirk chipped in nine points and six boards on Senior Day.

“I continue to be extremely proud of our team,” head coach Sam Hoyt said following a net cutting ceremony. “Every game all season long has been a battle. The conference is very balanced but overall, we persevered, persisted, and got better every night. We were able to close out a lot of close games along the way. To be able to win this conference is very tough so they accomplished a great feat.”

The Huskies (17-1) trailed by a slim margin early, then rallied to tie the game 34-34 at halftime. Ellie Mackay made a 3-point attempt with five seconds remaining and Tech shot 52-percent through the opening 20 minutes, compared to 45-percent for Parkside.

After Ludescher made a pair of free throws, the Huskies appeared to ice the game with a 12-point advantage (70-58) and just 2:38 left in the fourth quarter, but the Rangers nearly marched all the way back. Alyssa Nelson made a pair of jumpers and nabbed a steal. Then she connected on a 3-pointer with 54 seconds remaining to close to within a single possession 70-67. A pair of missed free throws on the ensuing drive hurt Michigan Tech. Then Hannah Plockelman went 2-2 from the line for Wisconsin-Parkside. Claire Jakaitis missed a layup with 10 seconds left and Ellie Mackay scrambled for a crucial rebound and eventually made it to the free throw line. She downed both tries and the Huskies walked away victors, 72-70.

“Our defensive urgency was good,” Hoyt said. “We played man-to-man today and our communication was very good. On the offensive end, we needed to be aggressive and get the ball inside. Jordan was posting up and creating opportunities and everyone else who came in helped us so it was a great team win.”

Michigan Tech shot 48.2-percent (27-for-56) overall, including 23.1-percent (3-for-13) from beyond the arc, and 83.3-percent (15-for-18) from the free throw line. Parkside’s leading scorer was Nelson again with 18 points, four rebounds. The Rangers finished 37.7-percent (23-for-61) from the field and 7 of 21 (33.3-percent) from the 3-point line. Parkside also made 17 of 20 (85-percent) of its free throws.

The Huskies out-rebounded the Rangers 40-30. Ludescher led the way with 12 and McGirk and Katelyn Meister took in six and five boards respectively.

Michigan Tech begins its post-season quest with the quarterfinals of the conference tournament Thursday in Westville, Indiana (hosted by Purdue Northwest). Their opponent will be determined Tuesday.

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