Huskies beat Jackets on home floor

HOUGHTON — No. 8-ranked Michigan Tech advanced to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Midwest Regional Semifinal with a 71-59 victory over No. 17 Cedarville in tonight’s opening round matchup. The Huskies needed an 8-0 run midway through the second half to pull away for the victory.

The Yellow Jackets (27-4) never led, but stayed within 47-46 at the 11:39 mark. Tech (28-2) didn’t make it a double-digit lead until back-to-back driving layups from Danielle Blake with 2:26 to play.

“It was a good team win against a really tough opponent in Cedarville,” said Tech coach Kim Cameron. “They’re talented at every position and came in as a tournament-ready team.

“We were able to get some defensive stops in the second half and made a run every time we did that.”

Cedarville shot 54 percent in the opening half to put up 35 points—the most the Huskies had given up in the opening 20 minutes since Feb. 19. Tech still maintained the lead throughout the half with Kelli Guy burying four 3-pointers and Brenna Heise scoring 11 more. The hosts hit 50 percent of their field goals for a 40-35 advantage at the intermission.

Heise opened the second half with a jumper for a seven-point lead, but the Yellow Jackets cut the margin to one (47-46) with eight minutes gone.

Tech got four consecutive stops and went on an 8-0 run with a pull-up jumper from Guy and 3-pointers from the exact same spot on the left wing from Jillian Ritchie and Morgan Anderson.

Ritchie swished another triple at the 4:17 mark for a nine-point gap before Breanne Watterworth answered with a three-point play with 3:28 to go.

Blake then scored twice on a drives down the right side of the lane for a 10-point margin, and the Huskies were able to hold onto the victory.

Tech limited CU to 24 points in the second half on 38 percent shooting. Tech committed just two turnovers in the final stanza and finished the game with 23 assists and just seven miscues.

Guy totaled a game-high 17 points. Blake and Heise added 15 apiece. Heise also had a team-high eight rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots.

Cedarville was led by Watterworth’s 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Tech advances to face the winner of Southern Indiana vs. Ashland in tomorrow’s regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m.

(Information/Photo Courtesy of MTU Athletics)