ASHLAND, Ohio. – Michigan Tech assembled a 14-0 run in the third quarter to tie the game but fell to Trevecca Nazarene 65-63 in the NCAA Midwest Region quarterfinals at Kates Gymnasium.
Keeley Carter led the Trojans with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists as the Huskies’ postseason ended Friday night.
Alex Rondorf notched a double-double with 17 points, and 10 rebounds but the Huskies struggled from 3-point range, making just 7 of 26 tries (26.9 percent).
Michigan Tech made its 21st NCAA appearance and finished the year 25-7 overall. Ellie Mackay ended her esteemed five-year career as MTU’s second all-time leading scorer in 109 games wearing Black and Gold.
The Huskies traded leads with the Trojans early but trailed 13-12 after one quarter. Carter helped TNU push the advantage to nine before Tech closed with seven by halftime 34-27. Tech connected 1 of 12 long-range attempts to start the game but charged back in the third quarter on a 14-0 run to tie the score 41-41.
Isabella Lenz made a layup with 56 seconds left in the fourth quarter with Tech behind 61-60. Then a steal by Faith Wilken forced the Huskies to foul with eight seconds remaining. After a pair of free throws made it a 3-point game, the Huskies committed another turnover, sending Carter to the line for two more.
The Huskies advanced the ball and Lenz hit an off-balance three for Tech. Then Carter tossed a pass across the sideline on the ensuing inbound, allowing Tech one more chance for a shot with 1.1 seconds and no timeouts.
Rondorf floated the pass to Katelyn Meister in the paint but her shot rolled off the back of the rim at the final horn and the Huskies fell by two.
Michigan Tech closed the season 14-0 at home in 2022-23. The team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice in five seasons under head coach Sam Clayton.
“It was definitely a disappointing ending to a great season,” commented head coach Sam Clayton. “It sucks to out like that when you have the year that we’ve had. We didn’t play like we were capable. We had much better urgency in the second half, which was good. We didn’t shoot it well generally and Trevecca’s key players had big games. They are a dang good team, well coached and they executed well, so credit to them.”
Fifth-seeded Trevecca Nazarene (22-9) moved into the semifinals to face No. 1 Ashland (32-0) Saturday. The Trojans won just five games last season but booked a spot in the NCAA Tourney after going 14-0 on their home court in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Trojans shot 34.3 percent (23-67) overall, including 35.7 percent (5-14) from beyond the arc, and 93.3 percent (14-15) at the free throw line. TNU also grabbed 41 rebounds, including 14 on the offensive glass.
Emma Palmer (13 points) and Lili Wilken (10 points) also contributed offensively for Trevecca Nazarene.
Michigan Tech finished with 39 rebounds and Meister swatted three of the Huskies’ six blocked shots. MTU committed 12 turnovers.
“It was great to see Alex with a double-double,” said Clayton. “Bella was close to a double-double. Sara hit a big shot for us late. Kate had some nice moves at the rim so those were some positive things. Our seniors did what they’ve always done for us but we just came up a little bit short.”