PREVIEW: Huskies head to Davenport and #5 Grand Valley State

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HOUGHTON, Mich. –The Huskies book a five-game road trip this week when they travel to Davenport on Thursday, Feb. 10, followed by No. 5 Grand Valley State on Saturday, Feb. 12. Michigan Tech women’s basketball has lost four of its last six but was defeated rival Northern Michigan last Monday in Marquette. Both matches this week can be heard on Mix 93.5 FM WKMJ.

LAST TIME OUT

  • Alyssa Nelson scored 25 points to help Wisconsin Parkside defeat Michigan Tech 81-67 Saturday night at De Simone Arena. The Huskies were held down to eight points in the second quarter and the Rangers bounced back off Tech 42-23 to hold on to the lead.
  • Michigan Tech (12-8, 7-5 GLIAC) shared the season series with the Rangers and fell to 1-2 on their current road trip. After a slow start to the game, Tech trailed 38-19 at halftime. The Huskies rallied to start the third quarter to cut the deficit to 12 before Parkside retired for the final time.
  • Sara Dax led MTU with 15 points and four rebounds while Katelyn Meister had 13 points and was effective 6-for-9 from the field in the loss. Rookie Isabella Lenz notched her third straight double-digit game with 12.

GLIAC TECH RANKS

  • Points – 73.8 (2nd) [33rd in NCAA Division II]
  • Rebounds – 34.5 (8th)
  • Free Throw Percentage – 78.3 (2nd) [16th in NCAA Division II]
  • Field Goal Percentage – 46.6 (1st) [8th in NCAA Division II]
  • Assists – 15.2 (3rd) [T-48th in NCAA Division II]
  • Flights – 8.1 (2nd)
  • Blocks – 3.1 (5th)
  • Defense – 68.6 (8th)

IN SEARCH OF PANTHERS

  • The Panthers took Lake Superior State to overtime on Saturday night, but lost 65-64 at Sault Ste. Married. Toni Grace paced DU with 24 points and shot 8 for 11 from the floor and 7 for 11 from the free throw line. Scout Nelson also had 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
  • The Huskies won the first meeting between the two teams 86-75 in Houghton on January 22. Ellie Mackay notched a double-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and Alex Rondorf had 20 points and shot 7-for-10. Tech also went 3-0 against the Panthers last year, including a 79-52 victory in the quarter-finals of the GLIAC.
  • Travis Schuba is interim head coach after spending a season as a senior assistant in 2020-21. Schuba previously served as the head boys basketball coach at Traverse City Central High School from 2017-2020.
  • Main guard Toni Grace (Fishers, Indiana) surpassed the 1,000 career points mark last year and leads the team in points per game (13.2 points per game). She is currently second in Panther history in career minutes per game (30.8), fourth in scoring average (14.0) and fourth in free throw percentage (.795). She was named a second-team All-GLIAC as a junior.
  • The Panthers are averaging 56.4 points per game and allowing opponents 73.1 points. Loni Sales (Senior – guard) is averaging 9.4 points per game and Scout Nelson (Junior – guard) is averaging 8.6 to go with 4.9 rebounds.

SCOUTING THE NO. 5 LAKERS

  • The Huskies won a pair of tough road battles at Grand Valley State last season and the Lakers are once again ranked in the top 10 in Division II this year. GVSU edged Tech 74-70 in overtime on Jan. 20 at Houghton in their first meeting of 2021-22.
  • The Lakers shot 50 percent from the field and 53 percent from beyond the arc and scored 24 points on 17 MTU turnovers. Emily Spitley sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer on final possession. Mackay had 25 points and six rebounds in the loss.
  • Since then, the Lakers have won five straight, extending their winning streak to 14. Most recently, GVSU beat Ferris State on the road 75-68. Spitzley finished with 19 points and Rylie Bisballe scored 15.
  • Head coach Mike Williams is in his seventh season and has helped the Lakers win at least one NCAA Division II National Tournament game in five of the past six years since he took charge. , including a run to the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2015-16.
  • Last year, the Lakers were upset in the GLIAC quarterfinals by Wisconsin Parkside. Ashland University defeats GVSU in NCAA Midwest Region Quarterfinals.

NORTHERN DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Alyssa Nelson – Parkside

  • Alyssa Nelson (New Berlin, Wis.) of the Parkside Women’s Basketball Team had another strong week, leading the Rangers to three home wins.
  • The senior averaged 23 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists as the Rangers beat Purdue Northwest, Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech. Nelson currently leads the conference in field goal attempts, field goals made, free throws made, free throw percentage, points per game, three-point field goals and shooting percentage. three-point field goals.

SOUTH DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sam Cherney – Wayne State

  • Sam Cherney (Farmington Hills, Mich.) helped lead WSU to an overtime win over second-place Saginaw Valley (the win coupled with SVSU’s loss on Saturday) propelled the Warriors into second place. Cherney notched his seventh double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds. She also blocked five shots and provided four assists for a single turnover. She hit 3 out of 4 in the final 48 seconds of overtime to secure the win. Cherney set the tone for overtime with a blocked shot on SVSU’s first possession of the extra stanza.
  • In the second half and overtime, she had 14 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and three assists as WSU rallied from a 40-31 halftime deficit. Cherney currently leads the GLIAC in defensive rebounds, total rebounds, rebounds per game and blocked shots, and is second in offensive rebounds.

LENZ HAS A GREAT WEEK

  • Rookie Isabella Lenz (Prescott, Wis.) had 42 points in three starts last week. Lenz started his first game of the season at Northern Michigan and scored 13 points in 25 minutes. She followed that up with another start at Purdue Northwest and excelled for a season-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 40 minutes. Lenz had scored a combined 66 points in his first 17 games of the season. Lenz had 15 of 26 shot attempts last week and went 5 for 10 from beyond the arc. She is in her first season with the Huskies after averaging 21.0 points per game at Prescott High School as a senior.

DAX ATTACK

  • Sophomore forward Sara Dax led the Huskies with 15 points at Wisconsin Parkside on 6-of-11 shooting. Dax has eight double-digit games this winter, including a 23-point breakout against Northwood on Jan. 27.
  • Dax shot 8 for 11 in the game with a pair of triples. Dax increased his minutes with 20 starts in 21 outings. Last season, she made three starts and played in 22 games. Dax is on pace at 9.8 points per game and is shooting 52.8 percent effectively from the floor.

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS

  • Michigan Tech women’s basketball returned in 2021-22 as the defending champion of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament. Head Coach Sam Clayton enters his fourth season as head coach after winning the GLIAC Regular Season North Division title and making it to the NCAA Midwest Region Semifinals .
  • The Huskies bring a mix of experience and youth and are led by captains Ellie Mackay (Novi, Michigan), Jordan Ludescher (Glen Flora, Wis.) and Katelyn Meister (Wisconsin Dells, Wis.). All three were starters in their own right and shared a heavy workload this season before Ludescher suffered injury following the departures of seniors Baillie McGirk and Cassidy Trotter.
  • Tech finished 20-2 overall, including 17-1 in the GLIAC and perennial unseated powerhouse Ashland in the Conference Championship 74-63. The Eagles got their revenge in Springfield, Missouri, when they beat the Huskies 74-65 in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan Tech tied a program record with 19 straight season wins.
  • The Huskies were selected to finish first in the GLIAC North Division in the GLIAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll with eight votes for first place. The Huskies were tracked by Ferris State, Wisconsin Parkside, Northern Michigan, Northwest Purdue and Lake Superior State. Grand Valley State received nine first-place votes to take first place in the South Division.
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