Lady Huskies take down rival NMU

HOUGHTON — No. 15 Michigan Tech won its ninth straight game and improved to 11-0 at home this season after a 57-49 GLIAC women’s basketball victory over arch rival Northern Michigan tonight at the SDC Gym. Morgan Anderson scored 16 points to help the Huskies prevail in a matchup of the league’s top two defenses.

Tech (18-1, 14-1 GLIAC) was able to turn a two-point margin into a nine-point lead between the 8:00 and 5:30 marks of the second half as Anderson buried a 3-pointer and Danielle Blake scored four consecutive points.

The Wildcats (12-7, 10-5 GLIAC) pulled back within 46-41 with 2:18 to play, but Blake answered with a turn-around jumper in the paint. Anderson’s layup at the end of the shot clock with made it a three-possession game with :52 remaining, and the Huskies made good on six straight free throws to ice it.

“It was an intense battle,” said Tech coach Kim Cameron. “Every possession was hard fought, and every basket had to be earned.

“We created some separation in the second half with rebounding and free throw shooting down the stretch.”

Tech pulled down 12 offensive rebounds and held a 32-26 overall advantage on the glass. Blake and Jillian Ritchie had a game-high seven rebounds apiece, with four of Ritchie’s coming on the offensive end.

“Offensive rebounding was one of our keys going into the game,” added Cameron. “We were able to do that, and do it at key times.”

Northern Michigan (12-6, 10-4 GLIAC) held a 20-19 lead after a first half that saw both teams miss open shots. NMU made 8-of-21 from the field while Tech was just 9-of-28. Both teams picked it up a little in the second half. The Wildcats finished at 42.5 for the game compared to Tech’s 36.5 mark.

Tech opened the second half with an 8-0 run, but the visitors struck right back to grab a 30-29 lead with 13:23 to play. Three-pointers from Kelli Guy and Jillian Ritchie put the Huskies in the lead for good midway through the half.

Anderson’s trey at the 7:59 mark turned a 35-33 score into a five-point lead and started the 7-0 run that created the separation Tech needed.

The Huskies generated 12 more field goal attempts in the game thanks to the 32-26 rebounding edge and five fewer turnovers.

Anderson scored 13 of her game-high 16 points in the second half. Brenna Heise scored 12, and Blake added 10 for Tech.

NMU was led by Alyssa Colla’s 15 points, eight of which came in the final 90 seconds.

Michigan Tech will take its nine-game winning streak on the road to play at Ferris State on Thursday (Feb. 5). Tipoff in Big Rapids, Mich., is slated for 6 p.m.

(Information/Picture Courtesy of MTU Athletics)