HOUGHTON - No matter the amount of game planning, drill work or film study, college basketball coaches have universally searched for the answer to one basic (but most important) question:
How do you counteract a plain-and-simple bad shooting night?
Add Michigan Tech women's basketball coach Kim Cameron to the long list still looking for a solution.
Michigan Tech’s Paige Albi puts up a shot against the defense of Indianapolis’s Dajana Jovanovic during Sunday’s game at the SDC?Gym. The Huskies lost 78-74 in double overtime. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
The Huskies misfired to the tune of 28-of-94 (29.8 percent) from the field Sunday night, and despite a superb game rebounding and just eight turnovers, Tech fell 78-74 in double overtime to No. 7 Indianapolis in the Huskies' first game back from winter break.
"It is hard to explain when they are layups," Cameron said. "You can understand when it is from the perimeter, but we had some issues because I thought that our shots were open and that we were running the right things for the people that we want to and the people that we trust the most. We gave a lot of opportunities to the people that we want to have the basketball in their hands You sit there and wonder when it is your turn to have one of those go in for you and apparently it wasn't our turn tonight."
Despite grabbing 25 offensive rebounds and giving the ball away just eight times, a horrific shooting night was too much for the Huskies to overcome against a top non-conference opponent.
Kirsten Gliesmann 3-5 1-2 7; Kristen Turner 6-19 3-4 16; Katy McIntosh 9-16 8-11 26; Kelly Walter 0-4 0-0 0; Carly Lythjothan 1-2 0-0 2; Dajana Jovanovic 3-6 2-2 9; Rose Savela 0-1 0-0 0; Eliza Wortman 5-8 5-6 15; Chas Lecher 1-5 1-2 3; Totals 28-66 20-27 78.
MICHIGAN TECH (7-3)
Jillian Ritchie 5-18 2-3 14; Taylor Stippel 3-19 0-0 6; Emma Veach 3-6 0-0 7; Sam Hoyt 7-26 4-5 22; Paige Albi 6-15 4-7 17; Michelle Gaedke 1-1 0-0 2; Kylie Moxley 0-1 0-1 0; Mackenzie Perttu 0-1 0-0 0; Kelcey Traynoff 0-2 0-0 4; Danielle Blake 2-4 0-0 4; Emily Harrison 1-1 0-0 2; Totals 28-94 10-16 74.
Indy38 26 4 10 - 78
Tech39 25 4 6 - 74
3-point field goals - UIndy 2-11 (Turner 1-6, Walter 0-2, Jovanovic 1-2, Savela 0-1); Tech 8-31 (Ritchie 2-4, Veach 1-3, Hoyt 4-14, Albi 1-7, Perttu 0-1, Traynoff 0-2); Fouled out: UIndy - Gliesmann; Tech - Veach; Rebounds - UIndy 54 (Wortman 10), Tech 60 (Albi 14); Assists - UIndy 16 (Turner and McIntosh 6), Tech 18 (Hoyt 6); Total fouls - UIndy 17, Tech 20; Technical fouls - none; Attendance - 684.
Taylor Stippel went 3-of-19 from the field, Sam Hoyt 7-of-26 and Jillian Ritchie 5-of-18.
Thanks to some top-notch defending in the second half that kept the hosts within striking distance, however, the Huskies were gifted five total shots in the last 30 seconds of both regulation and the first overtime, if any of which would have gone in would have been enough to seal the win for Tech.
Hoyt (twice), Paige Albi, Stippel and Emma Veach all missed with a chance to walk away winners though. Finally, in the second overtime, Indy found enough scoring to steal the 'W' on the road with stud guards Katy McIntosh and Kristin Turner combing for 10 points as Tech limped to the finish.
"Sam made the right read (in regulation)," Cameron said. "They went man (unexpectedly) and she took it to the hoop. Then in overtime we got a couple of open shots. We just couldn't get one to fall in."
After knocking down 15 field goals in the opening 20 minutes (on 40 percent shooting), Tech connected on just 13 tries in the entire second half and both overtime periods combined.
It was the starters not getting the job done for Tech as well, with the total bench attempting 10 shots in 30 minutes. No Tech starter played less than 50 minutes, and all but Veach attempted at least 15 shots.
"It is what you want to trust," Cameron said. "Do you want to keep going to the people who are maybe just not having their night or do you want to go to someone new? I tossed it up and they didn't catch it I guess. There is no clich to describe it. I wanted our guttiest players and those are the people that you trust with the last second situations."
The Huskies' out-of-rhythm shooting opened the door for Turner (16 points) and McIntosh (26 points) to steal the win. The guard duo found their way into the paint time and time again in a 38-point first half for Indy, and made enough plays in the second half and OT after Tech adjusted to improve the Greyhounds' record to 7-1, with the lone loss to No. 1 Ashland.
"That is what we went over a lot," Cameron said. "(McIntosh) is tough, but we knew what she was doing. I thought that we had the defenders on to stop her with, but the same thing happened every time no matter who was guarding her. We missed some help-sides and those things and they are creative in what they do with her. We got her to the free throw line which hurt us."
For the final 20 minutes of the game, Tech made five shots from the floor.
"Mentally, everything in sports is something that you are trying to figure out all the time," Cameron said. "I think that the fact that the girls kept getting the basketball and we kept feeding them the basketball and we kept feeding the ball to the post players - all of us have confidence in them and there is not a whole lot more that you can do besides doing it. And we didn't do it.
"I felt good going into the overtimes. Everybody was calm. I didn't feel we were razzled. We just kept missing shots."