Tech Women struggle, Davenport gets first conference win

Published: Jan. 26, 2020 at 12:13 AM EST
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The Michigan Tech women's basketball team fell to Davenport University 81-66 in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road game Saturday afternoon. The Huskies established a 12-7 lead with just under four minutes to play in the first quarter before the Panthers closed the period with a 22-14 edge and stayed in front the rest of the way.

"We got out to a slow start and give credit to Davenport for making shots and coming out with a lot of energy on their home floor," Michigan Tech Head Coach Sam Hoyt said. "We've struggled to make baskets and when that happens, we have to figure out ways to drive to the basket and get to the free throw line. I thought Ellie Mackay did a nice job being aggressive and creating some chances for us on the offensive end of the floor. We did a better job today crashing the boards, which created some chances for us as well and hopefully those are things we can build on moving forward. We'll get back to work this week and look to bounce back at Northwood Thursday night."

Michigan Tech (7-11, 5-6 GLIAC) struck first Saturday afternoon when senior Hannah Hobson dropped in a layup off an assist by senior Abbie Botz 30 seconds into the contest. Davenport (6-13, 1-10 GLIAC) countered with the next four points on field goals from Jenna Falkenberg and Toni Grace to lead 4-2 with 8:42 to play in the first quarter.

The Huskies then engineering a 10-3 run to construct their 12-7 advantage with 3:53 on the clock. Senior Ellie Welsh fired in a three-point basket to get things rolling followed by a mid-range jumper from Hobson. The Panthers tied the game momentarily at 7-7 via a triple from Madison Jones, but Hobson countered with a layup to tilt the scoreboard back in Tech's favor at 9-7. Junior Cassidy Trotter capped the scoring burst with a trey of her own, granting the Huskies what would be their largest lead of the afternoon.

The Panthers began to shift the momentum in their favor with a 12-0 run during the final minutes of the first quarter. Jenna Falkenberg gave Davenport the lead at 14-12 on two free throws and then with 44 seconds remaining in the in the opening frame, Elise Scaggs extended the advantage to 19-12. The Panthers eventually carried a 22-14 edge into the second period.

The Panthers kept the Huskies off the board in the first four minutes of the second quarter enabling them to add to the lead. The gap ballooned to 31-14 on a Scout Nelson layup with 6:41 to play until halftime. Trailing 37-22 with less than three minutes showing on the clock, the Huskies' offense found a rhythm on offense which helped them get back within striking distance. Trotter darted to the basket for a layup followed by a conventional three-point play courtesy of sophomore Ellie Mackay. Welsh capped the run with a triple, bringing Tech's deficit down to just seven at 37-30 going into the locker room at the intermission.

Unfortunately, the Panthers fired out of the gate quickly to start the second half. Toni Grace connected on a mid-range jumper and then Falkenberg cashed in a layup to make it 41-30 Davenport with 8:36 to go in the third quarter. Welsh momentarily brought the Huskies back to within singles digits at 41-32 on a layup, but Nelson answered with a three-point bucket on the very next possession to boost the lead to double digits again at 44-32. The Huskies could get no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Mackay paced the Huskies' offense with 13 points, connecting on all seven of her chances at the free throw line while dishing out six assists. Hobson followed with 11 points, Trotter had nine points, and Botz chipped in eight points and hauled down 10 rebounds. Welsh and LaFave also contributed eight points each in Saturday's contest.

As a team, the Huskies found the target on 26 of 73 shots from the field (35.6%), were 5 of 25 from three-point range (20.0%), and 9 for 9 at the charity stripe (100.0%). Tech out-rebounded Davenport 43-38, had 17 points off 14 Davenport turnovers, 17 second chance points, and 34 points in the paint.

The Panthers had four players with 10 or more points in the game, led by Grace with a game high 25. Jones followed with 21 points, Falkenberg tacked on 15 points, and Nelson rounded out the group with 10 points. Scaggs chipped in five points and produced a team best 10 rebounds. The Panthers made 25 of 53 shots from the field (47.2%), were 8 of 17 from long distance (47.1%), and 23 of 30 at the free throw line (76.7%).

The Huskies will be back on the road Thursday when they head downstate again to battle Northwood. Tech will then take on Saginaw Valley State Saturday to wrap up a four-game road stretch. Thursday's tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. eastern time.

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