Husky women top Timberwolves, 67-48
HOUGHTON — An energized Michigan Tech women’s basketball team on the court and on the bench made the difference Saturday afternoon at the SDC Wood Gym as the Huskies downed the Northwood Timberwolves 67-48.
“The energy on the bench was a huge game changer,” said Tech head coach Sam Hoyt. “They were jumping around and encouraging the ladies on the floor, and it worked. That’s what we want especially when we have no fans in the stands.”
The focused energy on the court by the Huskies (3-1) on Saturday was a stark contrast to their inconsistent play which led to a last-minute 58-56 loss Friday against the Timberwolves (3-1).
In short, Tech found their rhythm and never looked back as they won all four quarters and led the whole game. Tech shot 43.9% from the field. This included an impressive 46 points scored in the paint. According to Hoyt that was by design.
“We talked about it after the game (on Friday) and saw that they were going to let us inside,” Hoyt said. “We said, ‘Great, we’ll take it.’ I thought we did a great job and were aggressive in getting to ball in there.”
After shooting their way to a 32-24 lead at half, Tech moved to a 47-28 lead — their largest of the day. They were led by Ellie Mackay who had 18 points. Jordan Ludescher followed with 15 points and a game high eight rebounds. Both ladies were applauded by Hoyt for their improved play after Friday’s loss.
“They both stepped up and were leaders for us,” she said. They played tough. They didn’t like losing yesterday and they showed it today.
Also key in Saturday’s win was a renewed energy on Tech’s defensive side. They kept Northwood to shooting only 24% from the floor and 23% from 3-point range. As well the Timberwolves just had 20 points inside the paint. They had only one player in double figures. Ellie Taylor led the team with 10 points.
Tech posted eight blocks and six steals as opposed to just two blocks and five steals by Northwood. Three of those Tech blocks came from sophomore Katelyn Meister.
“We were able to really buckle down and our urgency defensively was really good,” said Hoyt.
Saturday’s matinee featured the debut of Husky freshman center Mady Draak. The 6-foot-1 center from Green Bay saw significant minutes in the second half as she poured in eight points coupled with three rebounds.
“Mady did what she was supposed to do,” said Hoyt. “We put her inside, and she was aggressive and did a great job of going to the rim stepping up with contact.”
Also seeing minutes for the first time this season were freshmen Lydia Schaible, Tessa Leece and sophomore Kylie Mogen.
Hoyt added that Saturday’s victory was a team win and not just due to play time on the court.
“There were some players who didn’t get any minutes this weekend, but you could hear their voices today,” Hoyt said. They’ve been working hard in practice and helping us to prepare every single day, and they were also the reason we got the win today.”
The Huskies will face Lake Superior State this Friday and Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Wood Gym.
NU 11 11 — 48
MTU 14 18 16 67
NORTHWOOD (48): Ditto 8, Keyser 6, E. Taylor 10, Seeley 4, Kemp 2, Todd 6, M. Taylor 6, Strickland 5, Walker 1. 3-PT FG: 5 (Keyser 1, E. Taylor 2, Todd 2). F: 12. FT: 13-19.
MICHIGAN TECH (67): Zenner 6, Ludescher 15, Mackay 18, Trotter 7, McGirk 5 Rondorf 2 , Meister 2, Draak 8, Johnson 2. 3-PT FG: 3 (Mackay 2, Trotter 2). F: 17. FT: 6-6.