Huskies ready for dogfight with Bulldogs

David Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette Michigan Tech’s Ellie Welsh (32) attempts to defend during a game against Purdue Northwest earlier this season at the Wood Gym.

HOUGHTON — The Michigan Tech women’s basketball team is 1-1 in the new year and has a chance to improve to 3-1 after this weekend of basketball action at home in the Wood Gym. The team lost last Thursday to No. 8 Ashland (12-1 overall, 4-1 GLIAC) but bounced back to beat Wayne State (7-7 overall, 2-4 GLIAC) on Saturday.

A week ago Thursday, the Huskies were right there battling the Eagles up until halftime where the score was 29-27 in favor of Ashland. The Eagles would go on to win 80-58.

“I was really happy with the defensive execution in the first half,” Michigan Tech coach Sam Hoyt said. “We were able to slow them down in transition, but unfortunately in the second half we weren’t as effective. It was good to see us stay with a great team like Ashland in the first half and it shows us the potential that we have. We just have to be able to continue to stay focused, execute, and put two halves together. “

Ellie Mackay and Hannah Hobson led the Huskies’ offense with 13 points apiece in the Ashland game. Each player knocked down 50 percent of their shots from the field and combined for seven successful three-point tries. Emily Trotter chipped in 10 points and nine assists to round out the double digit scorers for Tech while Abbie Botz added nine points and a team best four rebounds.

The Huskies made 24 of 56 shots from the field (42.9 percent), were on target with 8 of 24 attempts from behind the arc (33.3 percent), and 2 of 5 at the charity stripe (40.0 percent). Tech’s defense forced 26 Ashland turnovers which led to 20 points on the offensive end of the floor.

On Saturday, it was the Huskies’ turn to shine as they defeated the Warriors and they did so in a particularity strong way in the second quarter, as they outscored the Warriors, 25-9, going on to a 62-46 victory.

“To bounce back like we did on Saturday and not hang our heads low, speaks a lot about the leaders on our team and how they keep the team positive and looking forward and not backwards to the next game,” said Hoyt. “It does show that we are capable of defending a really good team it gives ups hope and excitement moving into conference play.”

Botz led a trio of Tech players who posted 10 or more points in Saturday’s victory with 14. Botz also grabbed a team best eight rebounds, blocked a shot, and produced a steal. Mackay followed with 13 points and three assists while junior Hobson rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. Elizabeth Kelliher closed the contest with seven points, six rebounds, two assists, three blocked shots, and three steals. Trotter had eight points and a team best four steals.

As a team, the Huskies made 23 of 58 attempts from the floor (39.7 percent), were 7-for-23 from behind the arc (30.4 percent), and 9-for-11 at the charity stripe (81.8 percent). Tech logged 30 points in the paint and forced 18 Wayne State turnovers which led to 15 points on the offensive end of the floor.

Thursday, the Huskies are back home against Ferris State (7-5 overall, 4-2 GLIAC). They head into the contest 8-6 and 4-2 in GLIAC play.

“They (Ferris) are a fast team. I know they are going to guard us tight the whole game and will try to take advantage of the transition,” said Hoyt. “They are a very physical team and the key for us will be to keep them out of the paint. I’m excited to see our guards and our whole team get better and grow up. There has been a lot of improvement from a month ago and it is exciting to see.”

On Saturday the Huskies will face the Lake Superior State Lakers in a 1 p.m. contest at the SDC.