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Mackay dominates as MTU dashes past Rangers

Career-high 36 points for senior
(WLUC)
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 12:29 AM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Ellie Mackay constructed a career-high 36 points to help Michigan Tech over Wisconsin Parkside 93-76 Thursday night in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference basketball game at SDC Gymnasium. Mackay’s total was just one point shy of the Huskies single-game point record (37) and she shot 14-for-21 from the field with six rebounds. The Huskies broke a three-game slide and moved to 9-4 overall, 4-1 in the GLIAC. Wisconsin Parkside fell to 5-8, 2-3.

It was the best offensive outing of the season so far for the Huskies as the squad shot 50.7-percent (36-for-71), including 37.5-percent (9-for-24) from beyond the arc. Alex Rondorf marked a strong effort on both ends of the floor with 18 points (8-for-14), seven rebounds, and three assists. Sara Dax also pitched in 12 points (5-for-7) and five boards.

“It was awesome to get back on the floor after break and grow from the mistakes we made last month in Missouri,” said head coach Sam Clayton. “Offensively, we looked completely different with our movement. We were cutting, screening, and taking high percentage shots. We got it into the post as well and even our guards were catching it and facing up; making good decisions. There is still room for improvement defensively but we did some things well and overall, I was happy with how we played.”

Mackay connected on each of her first four shot attempts for 12 points in the first quarter as the Huskies gained an early 23-19 advantage. Meister was effective on the offensive glass in the first half. Rondorf connected on back-to-back threes to extend the Huskies lead to a dozen and Tech took a 49-37 lead into the locker room.

Mackay scored 24 points and shot 9-for-11 while Rondorf finished the first half with 12. GLIAC leading scorer Alyssa Nelson managed one basket in the opening half.

The Huskies outscored the Rangers 25-22 in the third quarter and took care of the basketball. Nelson began to find her range for Parkside but a mix of inside and outside shooting by a multitude of players helped keep MTU in front.

Michigan Tech led by as many as 20 with 54 seconds to play in the third quarter and posted 19 points in the fourth for a 93-76 final score.

The Huskies out-rebounded the Rangers 40-31, including 12 on the offensive end. Rondorf led the team with seven boards while Meister and Mackay nabbed six apiece. The Huskies committed 11 turnovers and picked off nine steals, including four by Rondorf. Meister also made a trio of blocks.

“I think the biggest thing that went right was we got back to playing principled, Michigan Tech defense,” Mackay said. “Then we started moving the ball offensively and I thought a lot of people played confident, including Alex (Rondorf) and Katelyn (Meister). They did a great job.”

Nelson scored 15 of her 18 points in the second half to lead the Ranger offense. Nelson shot 5-for-12 and 2-for-6 from beyond the arc. Last season, Nelson scored 25 and 18 points in a pair of games against the Huskies. Kayla Bohr (16 points) and Maddy Harrison (10 points) also made it to double figures. Wisconsin Parkside shot 41.4-percent (24-for-58) overall with 14 turnovers and six steals.

Michigan Tech (9-4, 4-1) is scheduled to play at Wayne State next on Thursday, January 13 at 5:30 p.m. following the postponement of Saturday’s home game against Purdue Northwest (COVID-19 health and safety protocols). A makeup date and time have not yet been announced. The Huskies are tied with Ferris State (10-3, 4-1) for first place in the GLIAC North Division standings.

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