Huskies women can’t overcome tough start in loss Lakers

Michigan Tech forward Mia Kozlowska attempts a layup during a game against Grand Valley State Saturday at the SDC Gym in Houghton. (David Archabeau/For the Gazette)

HOUGHTON — Shooting just 18.2% in the first quarter was not what the Michigan Tech Huskies women’s basketball team was hoping to do Saturday afternoon at the SDC Gym against the No. 2 Grand Valley State Lakers. From there, the shot better, but could not overcome a five-point deficit in the second half as they eventually fell to the Lakers, 57-46.

With the loss on Senior Day, the Huskies fell to 15-11 overall and 11-7 in GLIAC play.

“I thought we competed really hard,” said Huskies coach Sam Clayton. “Obviously, (we) didn’t shoot it great. I think if we, you know, hit a few more shots, just a totally different game. But, I thought, in general, especially after the first quarter, we executed our offense better and got better looks.”

When the Huskies faced the Lakers earlier this season, they lost 74-30, so the 11-point loss Saturday showed a lot of progress for the Huskies overall. Clayton felt that the Huskies found a way to deal with how tough the Lakers can be defensively.

“They’re a really good defensive team, a really good defensive team,” she said. “So, credit to them, they do make it tough.”

A big factor for the Huskies in the contest was turnovers. Even as the Lakers struggled to score in the first half, the Huskies continually gave them opportunities by giving the ball away.

“We just gave up the ball too many times in the first half,” Clayton said. “We had 16 turnovers in the first half and then shored it up, only had seven in the second half. It was just those long passes, whether it be the lob or the skip, they’re just too athletic. They’re too athletic. So, I thought we learned from it and adjusted in the second half, and took care of it a little bit better.”

Clayton liked that her team found a way to outscore the Lakers over the final 10 minutes, 16-14. She felt that the Huskies showed they could be effective with the press when necessary.

“I loved the fight the fourth quarter there,” she said. “We did outscore them in the fourth quarter. We did some press, some passing lane, some trapping, and our girls did, they fought. They wanted it bad, obviously, for our seniors playing at home here, but they competed and we showed that we can compete with one of the best teams in the nation, if not the best team in the nation.”

Junior guard Isabella Lenz led the way with 14 points for the Huskies, but more impressive was the 10 points that fifth-year forward Sara Dax had in her return to the lineup from injury.

“To have Sara back is a huge help,” Clayton said. “I mean, as a leader on and off the floor, just for her to be able to step in and just have that presence, that calming presence of a fifth-year senior, where she’s going to make good decisions, she’s going to hit those shots, we can post her up, she can hit the three. So, it was great to have her back. I think she’ll get better and better as she gets to play more.”

With Dax back in the lineup, the Huskies were also able to experiment with their floor setup by playing both Dax and junior forward Emma Anderson at the same time.

“I do like that lineup just because they both can post up and both really shoot the three well,” said Clayton. “Like I said, no matter who matches up on them, I feel like you have an advantage offensively one way or another. So, yeah, we’re trying that out. We like it. They play well together, so it’s good.”


With the loss, the Huskies finish as the fourth seed in the GLIAC Tournament. They will host WIsconsin-Parkside Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the SDC Gym.


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