Huskies women take two non-conference games at home

Michigan Tech forward Lydia Schaible attempts a layup during a game against St. Cloud State on Friday at the SDC Gym in Houghton. (David Archambeau/For the Gazette)

Huskies best Bulldogs 61-46

HOUGHTON — Shut down defense and 17 points by Ellie Mackay made the difference for Michigan Tech women’s basketball as they collected their sixth win of the season Saturday over Minnesota-Duluth 61-46 at SDC Gymnasium.

Tech limited UMD to 33-percent shooting and top scorer Brooke Olson (18.2 ppg) to four points. MTU also grabbed eight steals and 33 rebounds in the cross great lake non-conference matchup.

“I was proud of the way we stuck to the game plan and executed one play at a time on both ends of the floor,” said coach Sam Clayton. “I was really proud of our effort, all five on the floor as we tried to limit a great player like Brooke (Olson), which is not easy to do. It was a great team effort, communicating and being sharp out there.”

Isabella Lenz helped the Huskies with 14 points (6-13) and three assists while Alex Rondorf posted 12 points in the effort. Mackay, Lenz, Rondorf, and Sara Dax shared the team lead in rebounds with six apiece. 

While the Huskies failed to rekindle Friday afternoon’s shooting magic out of the gate, they made up the difference in defensive effort as the Bulldogs converted just one of seven 3-point attempts in the first half and committed nine turnovers.

Lenz proved difficult to guard with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting, resulting in a 29-22 Michigan Tech advantage into the locker room. 

“Bella is such a good player and it’s crazy that we get to bring a player of her level off the bench,” Clayton said. “Every game she creates for us. She can do it off the dribble, off the screens, and also create things for other players. She’s super tough to guard.”

The Huskies produced a strong start to the third quarter after Emma Anderson knocked down her first 3-pointer from the right wing. Tech then recovered a loose ball and Lenz stayed hot in the mid-range to push the advantage to 41-26.

Minnesota-Duluth cut the deficit back to 10 with 4:01 to play in the fourth quarter following a turnover and a layup by Taya Hakamaki but Dax paused UMD’s momentum underneath the rim off an assist from Lenz.

Rondorf then put away a transition three and Mackay added insurance at the rim to make it 59-44 with 2:03 remaining, effectively ending the threat.

The Huskies shot 41-percent (26-63) overall and went 7-for-22 (32-percent) from beyond the arc. MTU balanced its attack with 24 points in the paint and committed 11 turnovers against UMD’s 14.

Hakamaki led the Bulldogs with 12 points and Olson nabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. UMD tallied 26 points in the paint and shot 33-percent overall.

Michigan Tech (6-1) won its third straight outing, the second straight in holding an opponent to fewer than 50 points.

Michigan Tech dismantles St. Cloud State 82-49

HOUGHTON — Michigan Tech used a massive first half to soar past St. Cloud State 82-49 Friday afternoon at SDC Gymnasium in non-conference women’s basketball. With five players in double-figures, Tech shot 50-percent from beyond the arc (12-for-24) and 57-percent overall (24-for-46). St. Cloud State fell to 2-2.

Soraya Timms and Lenz paced the offense with 13 points apiece while Rondorf narrowly missed a double-double after compiling 12 points, nine rebounds. Ellie Mackay and Sloane Zenner added 10 points apiece for the home Huskies.

Michigan Tech held St. Cloud State scoreless through the first 5:08 of the first quarter. Rondorf posted a quick seven points and Lenz banked in a jumper in the paint to give MTU its largest lead to that point, 17-4 at the end of the first quarter.

St. Cloud State’s offense continued to struggle in the second quarter and SCSU finished the first half shooting just 5-for-31 (16-percent) from the floor. Meanwhile, Tech converted on 51-percent of shots with eight made threes. Rondorf led the way with 10 points as the MTU headed to the locker room ahead 44-14.

“I thought we came out with a lot of energy today,” Timms said. “It started right at the tipoff. Our bench was engaged and I think that energy carried us offensively and defensively today.”

Tech maintained its advantage in the third quarter as each team posted 18 points. Timms connected on her third 3-point try on three attempts and Mackay absorbed a charge in the paint. MTU extended the bench late in the fourth quarter and glided to victory in Houghton.

“We really executed today right from the start,” said Clayton. “The biggest emphasis was on defense and taking away what they wanted to do in that first half. Everybody who came in contributed and did what was asked of them. Bella is always reliable and super consistent coming off the bench. Today, Soraya was making really good ball screens coming off of ball screens. Anderson also played well along with Tessa and Mady so it’s nice to know we have that depth, especially playing in the first game of a back-to-back today.”

Tech led several key categories, including rebounds (35-28), steals (9-2) and blocks (4-0). The bench also contributed 36 points and the Black and Gold downed 18 of 21 free throws (85-percent). Both teams committed 14 turnovers as Michigan Tech posted its largest margin of victory so far this season.

St. Cloud State finished 16-for-55 (29-percent) from the field, including 5-for-18 (28-percent) from downtown. The visitors put away 12 of 22 (54.5-percent) at the free throw line.

Up next

The team heads on the road to begin conference play, with games against Wisconsin Parkside (Dec. 1) and Purdue Northwest (Dec. 3) on the horizon.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today