Huskies women’s basketball beats the Bulldogs 61-46

Tech limited UMD to 33-percent shooting and top scorer Brooke Olson to four points.
Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 10:09 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Shut down defense and 17 points by Ellie Mackay made the difference for Michigan Tech women’s basketball as they collected their sixth win of the season Saturday over Minnesota Duluth 61-46 at SDC Gymnasium.

Tech limited UMD to 33-percent shooting and top scorer Brooke Olson (18.2 ppg) to four points. MTU also grabbed eight steals and 33 rebounds in the cross great lake non-conference matchup.

“I was proud of the way we stuck to the game plan and executed one play at a time on both ends of the floor,” said head coach Sam Clayton. “I was really proud of our effort, all five on the floor as we tried to limit a great player like Brooke (Olson), which is not easy to do. It was a great team effort, communicating and being sharp out there.”

Isabella Lenz helped the Huskies with 14 points (6-13) and three assists while Alex Rondorf posted 12 points in the effort. Mackay, Lenz, Rondorf, and Sara Dax shared the team lead in rebounds with six apiece.

While the Huskies failed to rekindle Friday afternoon’s shooting magic out of the gate, they made up the difference in defensive effort as the Bulldogs converted just one of seven 3-point attempts in the first half and committed nine turnovers.

Lenz proved difficult to guard with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting, resulting in a 29-22 Michigan Tech advantage into the locker room.

“Bella is such a good player and it’s crazy that we get to bring a player of her level off the bench,” Clayton said. “Every game she creates for us. She can do it off the dribble, off the screens, and also create things for other players. She’s super tough to guard.”

The Huskies produced a strong start to the third quarter after Emma Anderson knocked down her first 3-pointer from the right wing. Tech then recovered a loose ball and Lenz stayed hot in the mid-range to push the advantage to 41-26.

Minnesota Duluth cut the deficit back to 10 with 4:01 to play in the fourth quarter following a turnover and a layup by Taya Hakamaki but Sara Dax paused UMD’s momentum underneath the rim off an assist from Lenz.

Rondorf then put away a transition three and Mackay added insurance at the rim to make it 59-44 with 2:03 remaining, effectively ending the threat.

The Huskies shot 41-percent (26-63) overall and went 7-for-22 (32-percent) from beyond the arc. MTU balanced its attack with 24 points in the paint and committed 11 turnovers against UMD’s 14.

Hakamaki led the Bulldogs with 12 points and Olson nabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. UMD tallied 26 points in the paint and shot 33-percent overall.

Michigan Tech (6-1) won its third straight outing, the second straight in holding an opponent to fewer than 50 points.

The team heads on the road to begin conference play, with games against Wisconsin Parkside (December 1) and Purdue Northwest (November 3) on the horizon.