Blake leads Lady Huskies past T’Wolves

HOUGHTON — No. 15-ranked Michigan Tech saw a 13-point second half lead cut to two in the final minute but held on for a 68-63 GLIAC women’s basketball victory over Northwood tonight at the SDC Gym. The visiting Timberwolves scored 16 points in the final six minutes, but the Huskies made enough free throws to secure its 16th win of the season.

Jillian Ritchie buried back-to-back 3-pointers for a 58-45 lead with 6:23 remaining before NU made its charge. The T’wolves scored on six of their next seven possessions including a pair of 3-pointers from Maddy Seeley to claw within 65-63.

Morgan Anderson was fouled on a drive to the basket with 27 seconds left and made both foul shots of a one-and-one situation for a four-point advantage. After a defensive stop, Danielle Blake added another free throw for the final margin.

Tech (16-1, 12-1 GLIAC), which didn’t make a field goal for the final 5:57 of the game, went 8-of-10 at the free throw line during that stretch and finished the game 19-of-22.

“We blew a decent lead, but Northwood’s a good team. They’re capable of doing that,” said Tech coach Kim Cameron. “I’m proud of how we finished, though. We got the defensive stop that we needed and made our free throws to close it out.”

Tech took a 33-26 lead into halftime after it led all half but couldn’t get any separation on the Timberwolves (12-7, 8-5 GLIAC). The margin hovered between three and five points for most of the stanza before the Morgan Anderson’s 3-pointer pushed the gap to 31-24 with 2:47 remaining. Both teams scored two points before half.

The second half saw Tech make the first two shots to take a double-digit lead, but Northwood worked back within two (37-35) before the first media timeout.

Ritchie scored eight straight points with a layup and the two 3-pointers for the 13-point cushion before NU made its comeback.

Tech held the Timberwolves to 36 percent shooting and blocked 11 shots. Blake had seven of those to tie a school record. The junior forward filled out the stat sheet with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds plus six assists to go with her seven swats.

Ritchie finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. Kelli Guy posted 14 points, and Kylie Moxley added 11 more off the bench.

Seeley totaled a game-high 27 points for the Timberwolves, who forced the Huskies into 17 turnovers. Tech countered with a 38-28 rebounding advantage and a 49 percent shooting night.

Michigan Tech’s winning streak is now at seven games. The Huskies host Lake Superior State on Saturday (Jan. 31) at 1 p.m.

(Information/Photo Courtesy of MTU Athletics)