Huskies women’s basketball outlasted by No. 1 Ashland 74-67 on Sunday
HOUGHTON — The Michigan Tech Huskies women’s basketball team was unable to overcome a fourth-quarter push by the No. 1 nationally-ranked Ashland Eagles, losing their first game of the season, 74-67, at the SDC Gym on Sunday afternoon.
There was a lot on the line for both teams as the Eagles had won 40-straight games dating back to the 21-22 season, while the Huskies entered the game with a 17-0 record at home, which also dates back to the 21-22 season. Ashland (4-0) continued their streak, while Michigan Tech (3-1) saw its home unbeaten streak stop at 20 games.
“I’m super proud of how our team competed again, they came out and played their hearts out-a couple of things here and there and it’s a different ball game,” Huskies coach Sam Clayton said. “I think to be competing with the No. 1 team in the nation right now, we have work to do but we can get better and we will get better. It’s super disappointing, it’s heartbreaking but it’s also encouraging so I hope our team understands that and as much as it hurts right now hopefully that motivates them to put ourselves in a position to hopefully play them again.
“I think we had a ton of people step up, Bella rose to the occasion-Alex played her butt off and I thought Maja was huge for us today, she defended their post, she was physical-a lot of good things came out of today despite the loss.”
The Huskies struggled taking care of the ball in the opening half, accruing 10 turnovers in the first two quarters despite taking their first lead at the 9:17 mark of the second quarter off a 3-pointer from Isabella Lenz to make it 19-17.
From that point, MTU suffered five turnovers, paired with multiple missed shots, allowing the Eagles to enter halftime with a 35-28 edge. Annie Roshak scored 10 of her 22 points in the second quarter.
The third quarter showed to be the best for the Huskies, having just two turnovers while outscoring the Eagles 25-19, which proved to be the highest-scoring quarter of the game.
Following five early points from Alyssa Wypych, the Huskies strung seven unanswered points in the middle of the quarter to bring it to 49-47 with a layup from Alex Rondorf ahead of the media timeout with 3:49 left in the third.
The two teams traded baskets down the stretch with a Katelyn Meister layup, bringing the score 54-53 in favor of the Eagles with one quarter to play.
Ashland flipped the script on the Huskies, opening the fourth quarter similar to how MTU began the third quarter, seeing the Eagles score six unanswered to reclaim an eight-point advantage with 7:53 to go.
The Huskies would bring it to a one-possession game multiple times down the stretch before the Eagles pulled away and took free throws to close the game out 74-67.
Lenz led the Huskies in scoring with 19 points on 8-for-11 from the field, while Wypych posted a career-high 16 points, going 7-for-7 from the charity stripe and 4-for-9 from the field. Rondorf and Meister joined in on the double-figure scoring with 15 and 10 points, respectively. Meister and Sara Dax each grabbed seven rebounds to lead the team.
Annie Roshak went 7-for-10 and 7-for-7 from the free throw line to lead the Eagles offense with 22 points and a team-high six rebounds.
The Huskies will take to the road, playing three games in four days against NSIC foes next week. Michigan Tech starts the road trip with tilts against Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State on Saturday and Sunday. Both games are slated for a 3 p.m. tipoff. MTU concludes the trip to Minnesota with a clash against Concordia-St. Paul on Tuesday at 7 p.m.