Courtesy of MTU Athletics
*HOUGHTON, Mich.* – For the second time this season, No. 19-ranked Wayne State ended the Michigan Tech women’s basketball team’s winning streak. This time the Warriors used a dominating first half to defeat the Huskies 90-82 at the SDC Gym on Thursday (Feb. 13).
Tech had won four straight heading into the contest but falls to 16-6 overall and 14-4 in the GLIAC. Wayne State entered with a one-game lead over the Huskies in the standings and expanded the margin to move to 19-3 overall and 16-2 in the conference.
Down by 23 (69-46) with 6:20 to go, Tech closed the margin to seven with 1:56 remaining after a 20-4 run. Paige Albi, Danielle Blake and Mackenzie Perttu all had six points in the run.
Tech hit four 3-pointers in the final minute of play but 11 free throws by the Warriors never allowed the margin to get under four. As a team, Wayne State made 30-for-36 from the charity stripe in the game.
“We’ve had a few slow first halves this season that have just killed us,” Tech coach Kim Cameron said. “You can’t compete in this league if you don’t put together a full 40 minutes. We have to work on our consistency and come out with more energy.”
Blake scored a team-high 24 points and added seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks. Perttu had her first double-double of the season with 19 points–all in the second half–and 10 rebounds. Jillian Ritchie was also in double figures with 10 points after making all three of her attempts from beyond the arc. Paige Albi finished with nine and Emily Harrison added eight.
Tech shot 39.7 percent (29-for-73) in the game and 8-for-25 (32 percent) from three. From the free throw line, the Huskies made 88.9 percent (16-for-18).
Shareta Brown was a dominating force for the Warriors, finishing with 27 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and five steals. She shot 6-for-7 from the field and 14-for-17 from the free throw line.
“They’re an incredible team,” added Cameron. “We didn’t have an answer for Shareta. We threw the whole kitchen sink at her, but you have to find a way to limit her touches. Hopefully we get another crack at them.”
Destiny Lavita-Stephens (14), Jackie Jones (12), Kristen Long (11) and Ashley Wilson (10) were also in double figures for WSU who shot 28-for-59 (47.5 percent) from the field. The Warriors also held a 44-35 rebounding advantage.
The game got off to a slow start with Harrison making the first bucket of the game 2:08 after tipoff. The home team held an 8-6 lead after a jumper by Heather Kessler before the Warriors scored 12 straight.
The visitors again went on a run to take a 20-point first half lead after outscoring the Huskies 17-5 in the middle of the first half. WSU led 38-22 at the break. Tech shot only 8-for-31 (25.8 percent) in the opening half and 1-for-8 (12.5 percent) from three.