Huskies head south looking to rebound
HOUGHTON — Despite suffering her first loss as a NCAA Division II basketball head coach over the weekend, Michigan Tech women’s basketball coach Sam Hoyt has no plans of calling in quits or drastically changing her game plan. On the contrary, Sunday’s 72-68 loss to Minnesota State was a learning experience according to her.
“We learned a lot about ourselves,” she said in regards to Sunday’s loss. “Being in a close-game situation like that with a tough team is what teaches us so many things. I know the girls are ready to learn and I am ready to learn as a coach. I love being here at Michigan Tech and feel truly honored to be coaching these young ladies.
“It is indeed different than being an assistant coach.”
She contrasted Sunday’s game with Friday’s 55-48 victory against MSU-Moorhead as two games with different levels of energy on the court.
“On Friday, we had a ton of energy,” she said. “We fought hard and executed our game plan. However, on Sunday, we let down our energy on the defensive end of the floor and allowed too many points.”
Hoyt added that senior Elizabeth Kelliher was a bright spot in both weekend contests. In the win against Moorhead, Kelliher led the team with 13 points, and, on Sunday, she had 15 points.
“She played well particularly on Sunday going up against a big (6-foot-5) post player,” she said. “She played hard and took the ball to the basket. She is one who is going to compete with whomever she is up against every single night.”
Another standout over the weekend was junior Abbie Botz. In Sunday’s loss to Minnesota State, the forward had 16 points and 17 rebounds.
The Huskies (3-1 overall) head south this weekend to the University of Southern Indiana, where they will face Bellarmine on Saturday and then Southern Indiana on Sunday.
None of this will take place without a traditional Thanksgiving feast courtesy of the team’s adoptive families on Wednesday.
“We have it every year,” said Hoyt. “This family cooks an incredible spread. This whole weekend is a chance for us to be together and bond as an MTU basketball family.”
Hoyt added that after the feast, it will be time to get back to work on the court.
“We have two more tough games coming up against Bellarmine and Southern Indiana,” she said. “They are really good programs that are well coached and have solid post players. They will be similar to what we saw last weekend and we’ll have to come ready to go.
“It would have been nice going into it 4-0, but at the same time, I think there are things that you can learn from thus past weekend that are going to be beneficial moving forward.”
The Huskies will tipoff with Bellarmine Saturday at 1 p.m and with Southern Indiana Sunday at 3:30 p.m.