ALLENDALE, Mich. (WLUC) – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team had a nine game winning streak come to a close Saturday afternoon in a 75-46 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss at No. 11 Grand Valley State University. The Huskies are tied once again for first place in the GLIAC North Division standings with Northern Michigan and will face the Wildcats Thursday night at home.
"Grand Valley State shot the ball really well in the first half and we were unable to recover from the early deficit," Michigan Tech Head Coach Sam Hoyt said. "I thought we did a good job taking away Cassidy Boensch and Jenn DeBoer, but everyone else stepped up for them which is what the top teams in the country are able to do. I thought we came out in the second half and competed really hard while bringing a lot of energy to the court. Our players didn't give up and they always play hard, which I'm very proud of."
Michigan Tech (19-8, 15-4 GLIAC) recorded the first basket of the afternoon when sophomore Cassidy Trotter freed up some open space for a successful jumper to make it a 2-0 score 29 seconds into Saturday's game. Grand Valley State (25-2, 18-1 GLIAC), ranked 11th in the latest WBCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll, knotted the contest at 2-2 when Cassidy Boensch worked her way into the lane for a layup with just over nine minutes to go in the first half.
The Boensch bucket sparked a 12-0 scoring run, which the Huskies were unable to counter. Natalie Koenig capped the scoring burst with a triple at the 5:23 mark of the first quarter. Freshman Ellie Mackay then broke the drought on offense for Tech with 4:30 remaining in the first frame, slicing the gap to 12-4.
The Lakers kept Tech from gaining any momentum though as Maddie Dailey dialed in a three-point basket to increase the lead back out to double digits again at 15-4 with 3:51 on the clock. The Huskies were able to record four of the final six points in the opening period to stay within striking distance at 17-8 when the buzzer sounded. Trotter notched the points for the Huskies with just 16 seconds remaining.
However, the Lakers answered the Huskies with six points out of the gate to kick off the second quarter and set the tone for the rest of the half. Brooke McKinley sighted in a three-point basket and a conventional three-point play courtesy of Boensch increased Grand Valley State's lead to 23-8 with 8:18 left until the intermission. The Lakers would go on to outscore the Huskies 25-7 in the second quarter and carry a 42-15 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The Huskies were able to limit the Lakers to 13 points in the third quarter and then outscore them 22-20 in the fourth period for some positive momentum going into Thursday's game against Northern Michigan. Trailing 59-24 with 8:12 to play in the fourth, Mackay and senior Elizabeth Kelliher teamed up for back to back layups. Mackay dialed in a triple at the 5:53 mark and some late three-point baskets were added by junior Ellie Welsh and junior Hannah Hobson as well.
Welsh and Hobson guided the Huskies with nine points apiece Saturday afternoon followed by Trotter with eight points and seven rebounds. Mackay and junior Abbie Botz chipped in seven points each, Kelliher tacked on four points, and senior Isabella O'Brien had two points. Hobson was the top rebounder on the club Saturday with eight boards, Mackay distributed three assists, and Kelliher blocked three shots.
The Huskies converted on 19 of 55 shots from the field (34.5%), were 6 of 20 from behind the arc (30.0%), and 2 for 2 at the free throw line (100.0%). Tech had a total of 33 rebounds and 18 points in the paint.
Koenig delivered a game high 20 points for the Lakers' offense followed by Taya Andrews with 16 points off the bench. Dailey contributed 13 points and Boensch wrapped up the contest with a double-double on the strength of 10 points and 12 rebounds. The Lakers closed the afternoon making 25 of 61 shots from the floor (41.0%), were 11 for 28 from long distance (39.3%), and 14 of 17 on opportunities at the free throw line (82.4%). Grand Valley State hauled down 41 rebounds and had 22 points in the paint Saturday.
The Huskies will look to bounce back Thursday night in the 2018-19 regular season finale at home against rival Northern Michigan on Senior Day. The Wildcats defeated Davenport 64-42 on Saturday to pull even with the Huskies in the GLIAC North Division standings. The tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. eastern time.