Huskie women’s basketball handles Saginaw Valley State

The Huskies remained perfect at home (10-0) and celebrated Ellie Mackay’s Michigan Tech school record 131st career game
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 9:46 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - – Isabella Lenz scored a team-high 22 points and Sara Dax followed up a strong performance on Thursday with 16 points as Michigan Tech soundly defeated Saginaw Valley State at SDC Gymnasium Saturday afternoon in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball.

The Huskies remained perfect at home (10-0) and celebrated Ellie Mackay’s Michigan Tech school record 131st career game. The Huskies (19-4, 11-2 GLIAC) shot 52.3 percent (23-44) overall and held the Cardinals to just five points in the first quarter to win comfortably.

“I thought our team was awesome today,” said head coach Sam Clayton. “From start to finish we came out and executed defensively against two very difficult players to guard in (Tori) DePerry and (Kaitlyn) Zarycki. To be able to hold this team to 49 is quite a challenge so I was proud of our ability to force 21 turnovers and press them to make mistakes.”

The Cardinals scored the first basket of the game, but the Huskies proceeded on a 12-0 run with 3-pointers from Dax and Sloane Zenner for a 14-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. Dax continued her hot outside shooting in the second quarter while Lenz connected four of her first six tries as Tech continued to shoot better than 50 percent to the midpoint of the second quarter, still ahead 26-10.

Dax led Tech with 12 points in the first half and went 5-for-9 from beyond the arc, adding 14 points in the paint compared to SVSU’s six.

Lenz drove in for a layup after the break and Sloane Zenner swatted her third block to force a shot clock violation against Saginaw Valley State. Zarycki helped the Cardinals outscore the Huskies 15-13 in the third quarter, but a foul sent Alex Rondorf to the free throw line with less than a second remaining and Rondorf made all three for a 49-34 edge.

Lenz scored an early 3-pointer in the fourth from the left wing and Tech encountered full-court pressure for most of the second half. Katelyn Meister gave the Huskies their first 20-point lead at the three-minute mark. MTU ran out the clock for their ninth win in 10 games.

“I thought we played the full 40 minutes really well on both ends of the floor,” Dax said. “We limited paint touches and that good defense led to more opportunities on offense. I thought we struggled a little bit with the pressure in the beginning, but we kept our composure and kept our eyes up, which helped us execute better later on.”

Dax shot 5-for-6 from the floor and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Lenz passed a team-high six assists and added three rebounds to her 19-point total. Mackay finished with eight points and five rebounds. SVSU out-rebounded Michigan Tech 33-29 and shot 30.4 percent (17-56), including 19 percent (4-21) from long range.

The Huskies scored 24 points in the paint and received 16 points from the bench.

Michigan Tech (19-4, 11-2) hits the road next week against No. 6 ranked Grand Valley State (21-2, 11-1) and Davenport (7-15, 1-11). The Huskies entered Saturday in second place in the GLIAC standings, ranked No. 4 in the Midwest Region.

Zarycki led Saginaw Valley State (12-10, 7-5) with 22 points and DePerry posted nine. SVSU plays next at Lake Superior State Thursday.