HOUGHTON, Mi. The Michigan Tech women's basketball team suffered an 80-66 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss to Parkside on Saturday afternoon at the SDC Gym. The Huskies played a solid first quarter and led 20-19, but the Rangers countered with a strong second period and held off a second half charge by Tech.
"Credit to Parkside for shooting the basketball extremely well this afternoon," Michigan Tech Head Coach Sam Hoyt said. "Our key going into the game was to take away their rhythm three-point attempts and unfortunately we were not able to do that. Overall, it was good to see our resiliency when we fell behind by twenty to be able to fight back to within striking distance. Credit to our players for continuing to fight and stay aggressive.
"We will look to learn from today's game and prepare to play a very good Ferris State team on Thursday. Win or lose, I think every single game we have learned something and we need to continue to grow and get better. Moving into Thursday, it is evaluating what we did well today, what we need to work on, and continuing to push forward."
Michigan Tech (8-14, 6-9 GLIAC) attacked the paint at the outset and struck first in Saturday's game when senior Hannah Hobson cashed in a layup to make it 2-0 in the opening 12 seconds. Parkside (13-10, 10-5 GLIAC) countered with a pair of triples from Alisha Murphy and Carolina Rahkonen to make it 6-2 with 8:33 to play in the first quarter. The Huskies knotted the score at 8-8 on a layup from freshman Sara Dax and eventually slipped back in front at 11-10 on a trio of free throws by sophomore Ellie Mackay with 5:02 on the clock.
Trailing 14-11 with 3:18 remaining in the first, Tech proceeded to engineer a 9-0 scoring run to claim a 20-14 advantage late in the quarter. Junior Cassidy Trotter got things rolling with a conventional three-point play to tie it followed by a free throw from freshman Katelyn Meister to make it 15-14 at the 2:31 mark. Hobson connected from long distance and then senior Abbie Botz capped the run with a jumper in the paint with 1:32 left in the first, prompting the Rangers to spend a timeout.
Unfortunately, Parkside was able to get back on track and collected the next eight points to regain the lead at 22-20 early in the second quarter. Dax deadlocked the score again for Tech at 22-22 on a layup with 8:48 on the clock, but the Rangers reeled off the next seven points to build a 29-22 advantage on a jumper from Murphy with 7:03 to play until the break. Parkside slowly increased the gap over the next few minutes, building a 10-point lead at 40-30 on a Rahkonen triple with 2:01 to go in the second. In the final minute of the half, Cabrero Sinolaina tossed in a three-point bucket to give the Rangers a 43-32 lead at the break.
The Huskies struck quickly to begin the third thanks to a Hobson jumper in the lane followed by a free throw courtesy of Trotter, which sliced Tech's deficit to 43-35. However, the Rangers grabbed the momentum with a 14-0 scoring run that covered just over three minutes. Murphy notched two more points on a layup to make it a 57-35 advantage for the Rangers with 5:44 to go in the third period.
The Huskies battled back to within 12 points at 59-47 on two free throws from Trotter with 1:01 on the third quarter clock. Tech then climbed to within 11 points at 62-51 early in the fourth period on an additional field goal from Trotter. Once again though, a 9-0 run by the Rangers halted the surge by Tech and created a 71-51 cushion for the Rangers with 7:49 remaining in the game. Parkside's largest lead was 78-53 with 5:57 to go before the Huskies cut it back down to 12 points with under two minutes remaining. Stephen recorded the final bucket of the afternoon for Parkside, resulting in the final score of 80-66.
Trotter powered the Huskies with 22 points and five steals followed by Hobson with 15 points and two blocked shots. Mackay posted nine points and Meister ended the contest with five points and a team high five rebounds. As a team, Tech found the target on 25 of 55 shots from the field (45.5%), were 3 for 17 from three-point range (17.6%), and 13 of 16 at the free throw line (81.3%). The defense forced 21 turnovers by Parkside which led to 29 points on the offensive end of the floor.
Stephen had a huge afternoon for the Rangers, firing in 24 points while adding 12 assists and 11 rebounds for a triple-double. Rahkonen and Murphy each added 17 points and Alyssa Nelson chipped in 10 points to round out the double-digit scorers. Parkside connected on 30 of 60 attempts from the floor, were 14 for 25 from long distance (56.0%), and 6 of 9 at the charity stripe (66.7%). The Rangers out-rebounded the Huskies 38-23.
The Huskies will try and regroup Thursday when they travel to Ferris State for a GLIAC contest against the Bulldogs. The tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. eastern time.