Courtesy of MTU Athletics

HOUGHTON, Mich.-  Mackenzie Perttu scored 20 points, and Danielle Blake notched 19 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and four blocks in Michigan Tech’s 73-63 victory over Saginaw Valley State today in GLIAC women’s basketball.

Despite the production from those two, the performance of the game on Senior Day may have come from senior Paige  Albi who notched 11 second-half points including six straight in a crucial spot down the stretch.

The Huskies led wire-to-wire in the contest but never by double digits until the final minute. They improve to 17-6 overall and 15-4 in league play. Perhaps most importantly, they earned the season split with the Cardinals and maintained a two-game cushion in the standings over third-place Northern Michigan.

“We said going in that this game was the most important of the season,” said coach Kim Cameron. “It was the most important because it was next one, but also because we were coming off two losses and needed to play two full halves and get our offense and defense back on track. I thought we accomplished those things.”

Blake poured in 15 of her 19 points in the opening half to keep the Black and Gold in front. Tech used defense and transition offense to tally 11 points off turnovers and head into the break leading 37-31.

SVSU trailed by nine just two minutes into the second stanza, but marched back within 49-47 over the next five minutes. With the score 51-49 at the 9:35 mark, Albi made strong moves to the basket for three consecutive layups and a 57-51 margin.

The visitors again closed the gap to two (63-61) with 2:51 to play. Tech scored on four straight possessions while getting three defensive stops in a row to push the difference to 71-61. Saginaw made a layup, and Perttu hit her ninth and 10th free throws of the game to account for the final margin.

Tech finished with an 11-2 advantage in fast-break points. It also finished with 17 points on 17 Cardinals’ turnovers.

“Our transition game was good today and gave us some separation on the scoreboard at critical times,” added Cameron.

Emily Harrison tallied 10 points and was Tech’s fourth player in double figures. Albi finished with 15 points in her final regular season game at the SDC. She and fellow seniors Kelcey Traynoff, Kate Glodowski, Heather Kessler, and Taylor Stippel were honored in a postgame ceremony.

Saginaw Valley State was led in scoring by Shelby Herrington’s 18 points. Michigan Tech will wrap up its 2013-14 regular season with three straight road games. The next one is Thursday (Feb. 20) at Northwood.