Tech women ready for strong finish

David Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette Michigan Tech’s Kelli Guy looks to pass against Ferris State at the Wood Gym on Jan. 28.

HOUGHTON — March is quickly approaching, and so is the sense of urgency for the Michigan Tech women.

“We need to be playing March basketball,” Tech head coach Kim Cameron said. “It’s time. It’s time for us to step up and do that.”

Tech (15-6, 11-5) has already clinched a berth in the GLIAC Tournament and will now aim to improve their seeding while attempting to chase down the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals for the GLIAC North title. Tech is three games back of SVSU (18-4, 14-2), and can make up ground with a win tonight at 5:30 p.m. against the Wayne State Warriors (7-16, 4-12) and Saturday at noon against SVSU. Both games are at the Wood Gym.

“Our top players need to play like our top players,” Cameron said. “Every single game right now is a tournament game and you have to play like it.”

One person Tech will look towards down the stretch is senior Morgan Anderson, who leads the Huskies with 15.9 points per game. Last week, she went through a rough two-game stretch against the Northern Michigan Wildcats and Northwood Timberwolves, scoring just four points on 2 of 20 shooting during that span. Tech lost both of those games. However, Anderson managed to bounce back with an 11-point, seven-assist game in the 67-60 win Saturday over the Lake Superior State Lakers.

“Morgan’s Saturday game was really good. She was finding the right people and putting them in the right positions to score,” Cameron said. “I think she understands what her role is and what she needs to do in order to be successful. She’s the most aware of that, and I really think she’s going to pull it together to finish up this stretch run. She knows her team needs her.”

Just like when Tech needed her on Jan. 12 in the first matchup against Wayne State, when she made the game-winning basket with four seconds left to give Tech a 66-64 win.

The Warriors have lost six of seven and are just 3-13 in their last 16, but they still pose threats to Tech.

“That was a battle,” Cameron said of the first game with Wayne State. “We need to do a better job of containing them. They’re extremely athletic and can spread us out. They shoot 3s and can attack and make layups.

“Defensively, they’re long, they’re going to sit in the paint. It’s going to be hard for us to attack the rim. But if we move the ball, we give ourselves a chance.

“We’ll have to take advantage of the things they give us. They’ve been playing more zone, which we haven’t seen a ton of this year.”

Then it’s the showdown with SVSU.

The Cardinals won 79-67 in the first meeting on Jan. 14, thanks to six Tech turnovers in the third quarter, where SVSU outscored the Huskies 22-10.

Emily Wendling, the GLIAC North Preseason Player of the Year, averages the third-most points (17.8) and fifth-most rebounds (7.7) per game to lead the Cardinals. Katelyn Carriere is fourth in points per game at 16.5.

“We just have to be better,” Cameron said of SVSU. “They’re a good matchup for us.

“We need to play the way we’re capable of and play our best. If we play our best, it’ll give us a chance. That’s all you can ask for.”

WINTER SCORING

After missing the first five games with an injury, Tech junior Lindsay Winter appears to be in a rhythm, scoring in double digits in each of her last four games, scoring 11, 15, 17 and 20 in that span. In the last two contests, she’s been Tech’s leading scorer.

“Everybody forgets that she had a significant injury,” Cameron said. “I think she’s back healthy and built some confidence.

“She makes plays happen; from her offensive rebounding, to her getting a tip on the ball and getting an open layup. I really believe she ignites so much for us just by her hustle plays. It’s her will to win.”

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