HOUGHTON, Mi. The Michigan Tech women's basketball team powered by Ferris State in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference battle Thursday night in the SDC Gym. The Huskies limited the Bulldogs to just 14 points in the second half and a 26.3 percent conversion rate on shots from the field, earning their second consecutive win.
"Ferris State is a really good team and I was very proud of how our players defended," Michigan Tech Head Coach Sam Hoyt said. "To be able to hold a team to 37 points really says something about our defense and our focus on that end of the floor, which is what we wanted to emphasize tonight. I think we did a great job keeping them out of the paint in the second half and we finally began to see some shots fall.
"It's really important for us to build off of each win that we get. Our confidence is growing, but we are going to have to continue to play very well to beat Lake Superior State Saturday. They are a really good team that executes well offensively and reads screens effectively. I'm happy that we won the last two games and our team is playing solid basketball, but we are going to have to come in focused and ready to go on Saturday."
Michigan Tech (9-6, 5-2 GLIAC) fell behind early in the first quarter, facing an 8-2 deficit to Ferris State (7-6, 4-3 GLIAC) at the 6:35 mark following a triple by Alexis Bush. The Huskies spent a timeout a few seconds later to regroup and slow down some of the Bulldogs momentum. Freshman Sloane Zenner began to right the ship for the Huskies with just under five minutes to go in the first, knocking down a triple to draw Tech to within three points at 8-5.
Zenner's bucket kick started a 17-4 run to close out the first quarter and put the Huskies in the driver's seat. Junior Abbie Botz tied up the contest at 9-9 on two free throws with 3:50 on the clock and then gave Tech an 11-9 edge on a layup just a few seconds later. The Bulldogs Kelsey Wyman momentarily tied things up at 11-11 on midrange jumper, but two offensive rebounds by the Huskies on the ensuing possession gave junior Hannah Hobson an opportunity to sink a three-point basket, making it a 14-11 ballgame with 2:53 left in the first. The Huskies would go on to score 22 second chance points in Thursday night's win.
Holding a 19-12 advantage at the end of the first quarter, the Huskies had to withstand a rally by the Bulldogs in the second frame. Ferris State closed the gap down to just one point at 24-23 on a conventional three-point play from Adrienne Anderson with 1:10 remaining in the first half. The Huskies then used a couple more offensive rebounds in the final seconds to secure two chances at the free throw line for Botz right before the intermission. Botz sank both attempts to give Tech a 26-23 edge at the break.
The Huskies then seized control of the game by outscoring the Bulldogs 21-8 in the third quarter and then 25-6 in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Cassidy Trotter and senior Elizabeth Kelliher had back-to-back field goals to get things rolling in the third. Freshman Ellie Mackay gave the Huskies their first double digit lead of the night at 38-27 on layup with just under five minutes left to play in the third.
Tech opened up a 47-31 advantage at the end of the third quarter and the gap continued to grow from there. The Huskies largest lead of the night occurred at the 50 second mark of the final quarter, courtesy of two Hobson free throws. Those two looks at the charity stripe resulted in the final score of 72-37.
Tech's offense was guided by Trotter who poured in 18 points followed by Hobson with 14 points and Botz with 13 points and 13 rebounds. For Botz, it was her third double-double of the 2018-19 campaign. Kelliher wrapped up the night with seven points, 12 rebounds, and three of the Huskies' nine blocked shots. Zenner chipped in eight points and shared the team lead in assists with Hobson as each player dished out five.
As a team, the Huskies made good on 26 of 65 shots from the field (40.0%), were 11 of 32 from behind the arc (34.4%), and 9 for 12 at the free throw line (75.0%). Tech out-rebounded Ferris State 57-29, including 19 offensive boards in Thursday's win. They scored 22 points in the paint, logged 14 points off turnovers, and had 22 second chance points.
Anderson paced the Bulldogs with a team high 13 points and seven rebounds. Ferris State converted just 15 of 57 shots from the field (26.3%), were 1 of 11 from three-point range (9.1%), and 6 for 10 at the free throw line (60.0%).
The Huskies are back in action Saturday afternoon when they host Lake Superior State for another GLIAC battle. The tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. eastern time.