WESTVILLE, In. The Michigan Tech women's basketball team bounced back with a 75-55 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win Saturday at Purdue Northwest University. The Huskies put together strong second and fourth quarters on the way to the 20-point victory over the Pride.
"Today was a huge game for us as we needed to respond and bounce back," Michigan Tech Head Coach Sam Hoyt said. "Our goal coming into the game was to keep them under 56 points and I thought we got the job done on the defensive end of the floor. They were able to get to the line quite a bit in the first half, but I thought we did a much better job in the second half of playing straight up which limited our fouls and their opportunities at the free throw line. We had a number of great performances from multiple players which was awesome to see.
"We go back home to face two more solid teams in Lake Superior State and Ferris State who keep getting better and better. Both teams are very competitive so we'll have to come out ready to play on Thursday and Saturday. Our players have stuck together through some adversity and continue to learn and grow. We are excited to be back at home for two more big games next week."
Defense was the name of the game for both sides in the early moments of the first quarter Saturday afternoon. Michigan Tech (6-8, 4-3 GLIAC) took a 2-1 lead on two free throws by junior Cassidy Trotter with 8:24 left on the clock. Points were hard to come by in the first two minutes for each team. Purdue Northwest (4-11, 3-4 GLIAC) eventually opened up an 11-7 edge on a Danielle Nennig jumper at the 4:30 mark, but the Huskies slipped back in front 13-12 just over two minutes later on a bucket courtesy of senior Hannah Hobson. The two teams traded points from there and the contest advanced to the second quarter knotted up at 16-16.
The Huskies began to find a rhythm in the second and started to swing the momentum in their favor with the first five points of the quarter. Sophomore Ellie Mackay advanced to the rim on a layup on the first possession followed by a Hobson layup and subsequent free throw to collect a conventional three-point play and a 21-16 Tech lead.
Tech owned a single digit advantage until senior Michelle LaFave sent home a jumper in the paint to extend the gap to 34-24 with 4:30 remaining until the intermission. Leading 39-35 with less than two minutes in the quarter, Tech went on a 6-0 scoring run to close out the half and carry a 10-point cushion of 45-35 into the locker room at halftime. Trotter commenced the run with a pair of free throws followed by a layup from senior Abbie Botz. Trotter then capped the first half with a jumper right before the buzzer sounded.
Tech's lead remained at 10-points at 59-49 when the third quarter wrapped up on Saturday. The Huskies then created some separation in the fourth quarter on the way to the 20-point win. Hobson buried a triple at the outset of the fourth period to make it 62-49. Botz followed suit with another trey and then Trotter cashed in a layup, creating a 67-49 lead with 7:21 on the clock. The Huskies then kept the Pride at arm's length the rest of the way. Freshman Sara Dax tossed in two free throws for the Huskies with one-minute left, resulting in Saturday's final score of 75-55.
Trotter powered Tech with 17 points, a career high 10 rebounds, and four assists, giving her a double-double in Saturday's victory. Hobson also had 17 points and five rebounds followed by Botz with nine points and three boards. Freshman Kyle Mogen had a season high eight points and five rebounds with senior Michelle LaFave chipping in eight points and three additional rebounds.
The Huskies made 27 of 53 shots from the field (50.9%), were 7 of 11 from three-point range (63.6%), and a perfect 14 for 14 at the charity stripe. Tech out-rebounded Purdue Northwest 33-28 and poured in 32 points in the paint.
Anjel Galbraith paced the Pride with 12 points followed by Nennig and Molly Devalkenaere with 11 points apiece. Galbraith shared the team lead in rebounds with Savaya Brockington as each player reeled in five. In addition, Galbraith dished out a team high five assists. As a team, the Pride were on target with 14 of 46 shot attempts from the field (30.4%), were 5 of 15 from long distance (33.3%), and 22 for 29 at the free throw line (75.9%).
The Huskies return home on Thursday when they are back in the SDC Gym to play GLIAC foe Lake Superior State University. The tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. eastern time.