ST. PAUL - The environment was not set for success.
The Michigan Tech women's basketball team opened their season on the road at the No. 9 team in the country in Concordia-St. Paul. The Golden Bears had already had three games under their belt, boast four upperclassmen in their starting lineup (to the Huskies' one) and enjoy the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference preseason Player of the Year in Anika Whiting.
Despite all that, Tech played with a confidence and swagger that belies their young age, grabbing a 83-81 victory to get their 2013-14 season under way.
"To do what we did, in (CSP's) place against a talented, experienced group was honestly unbelievable. That is one of the proudest games I have ever been a part of," Tech coach Kim Cameron said in a phone interview with the Daily Mining Gazette Friday night. "It was one of the most amazing team wins I have ever been a part of."
A look up and down the box score shows contributions from all corners.
With freshman point guard Morgan Anderson in early foul trouble, sophomore Kerry Gardner came in for 31 minutes to set career highs in points (eight), rebounds (five) and assists (four).
Senior guard Paige Albi also came off the bench to grab eight rebounds and dish four assists while limiting the fouls (one) and turnovers (two) that have been a bugaboo in her career.
Then there was senior Kate Glodowski.
After losing her entire junior year to a foot injury, Glodowski rebounded with the game of her life, hitting 6-of-6 three-pointers in 21 minutes off the bench and providing the presence Tech needed to stretch the floor.
Glodowski made just nine threes her entire sophomore season.
"We needed something in the first half to hold us together and she was that something," Cameron said of Glodowski.
"That group off the bench was just incredible when we were in foul trouble."
With a slim four-point lead at half time, Tech made a concerted effort to get the ball to their most reliable scorer, Kylie Moxley.
The sophomore responded with 20 points (9-of-12 shooting) and hit two layups in the final 80 seconds - including the game-winner with four seconds left on the clock - to preserve the Huskies lead.
"When she got the basketball we knew she was going to score," Cameron said. "She wanted the basketball, caught the ball, and just finished over bodies, arms and everything they threw at her."
The Huskies play in St. Paul again tonight against Minnesota-State Moorhead at 4 p.m.