HOUGHTON, Mich. – Ellie Mackay reached 1,000 career points and Michigan tech made timely jump shots down the stretch to defeat University of Minnesota Crookston 65-57 Friday night in non-conference basketball at SDC Gymnasium. Mackey totaled 11 points to become the 27th player in Husky history to cross the 1,000 point mark, but it was teammate Katelyn Meister with 18 points who lead the Huskies over the Eagles. Meister also made a critical mid-range jump shot with under three minutes to play to draw scoreboard separation late. Clara Johnson also had a strong performance with 10 points, including 3-of-4 shooting from the 3-point arc.
Michigan Tech (3-0, 0-0 GLIAC) outscored Minnesota Crookston (0-4, 0-0 NSIC) 19-9 in the second quarter to take a 13 point lead into halftime, but the Eagles played an outstanding third quarter and tied the score 45-45 before Mackay converted a three-point play in the lane at the end of the third. Johnson put the Huskies back ahead by four (59-56) with 2:57 to play in the game. Then, after Abi Fraaza answered with a layup, Meister pocketed a mid-range jumper near the baseline with 1:41 remaining to keep it a two-possession contest. After a defensive rebound by Alex Rondorf, Meister shot free throws the next time down the floor and converted both attempts to seal the win for the Huskies.
“Our game plan was to try and score in transition and then just keep the ball moving on offense,” said head coach Sam Clayton. “In the first and second quarters, we did that well. Katelyn was phenomenal for us finishing at the rim and making good decisions. Then Clara came off the bench and really ignited us on both ends of the floor. She has worked really hard for a few years here and I was really proud of her effort today. We didn’t move the ball as well in the third quarter but it was good to see us respond in the fourth quarter and get the baskets we needed along with some really important defensive stops.”
Meister shot 7-for-7 in the first half and finished with 16 points, four rebounds, one block, and one assist. Johnson played 23 minutes off the bench and recorded 10 points, two assists, and three steals. Alex Rondorf pitched in defensively with four steals to go with eight points and a pair of assists. Mackay finished with 11 points and seven rebounds as the Huskies shot 42-percent overall (21-for-50) and 39-percent (7-for-18) from the 3-point line.
Tech scored 24 points in the paint and out-rebounded the Eagles 31-29. Mary Burke led Minnesota Crookston with 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting (4-for-7 from downtown). Kylie Post put up 10 points while leading scorer Bren Fox was limited to seven. The Eagles shot 38-percent (19 of 50) from the field, including 43-percent (9-for-21) from beyond the arc.
Both teams committed 14 turnovers with 12 assists. Tech picked off nine steals compared to Minnesota Crookston’s four. Fraaza made a pair of blocks for the Eagles.
After a pair of 2-point baskets in the first half, Mackay’s 1,000th career point came on a pull-up jumper in the lane with 9:06 on the clock in the third quarter.
Jordan Ludescher was out of the lineup for the Huskies.
Michigan Tech (3-0. 0-0 GLIAC) started the season with three straight victories for the first time since 2018-19. Tomorrow, the Huskies host No. 18 ranked University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (1-1, 0-0 NSIC) at 5:30 p.m. Both teams qualified for their respective NCAA Division II Regional Tournaments last spring and both fell in the semifinals. The last meeting between Lake Superior shoreline rivals was November 24, 2019. The Huskies fell 69-59 in Houghton. Ellie Mackay scored 13 points for MTU.
Katelyn Meister was named Superior National Bank Superior Player of the game.