MTU WBB slips past Pride 58-56

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HAMMOND, Ind. – Trailing much of the game, the Michigan Tech women’s basketball team snuck past Purdue Northwest in the closing moments 58-56 at PNW Fitness Center Saturday afternoon. Baillie McGirk made the crucial block on PNW’s Dash Shaw with 3.7 seconds remaining and made one free throw to keep the Huskies in front at the final buzzer. The win secured a two-game weekend sweep for the road team and Michigan Tech stayed undefeated at 2-0 on the season.

Jordan Ludescher led the Huskies with 15 points on 5 of 7 shooting. Ellie Mackay finished with 13 points and Cassidy Trotter tabbed 10 points and a team high six rebounds.

“It was really a tale of two games,” commented Michigan Tech Head Coach Sam Hoyt. “They slowed us down in transition and took away our rhythm today. I thought they made excellent adjustments to attack our ball screen defense as well. I give a lot of credit to PNW for coming our ready to play. Our team stuck together despite a slow start and continued to trust our offense would eventually come through.”

In opposing fashion to Friday’s matchup between the two sides, Purdue Northwest opened the first quarter with a 19-9 advantage and constructed their largest lead of the day. Michigan Tech was slow to recover and it took until the final two minutes of the game for them to taste their first lead 55-54. Despite this, the Huskies steadily improved throughout the contest and ended up shooting 42-percent (20-for-48) from the field and 25-percent (4-for-16) from long range.

Ludescher transferred the ball to her left hand for a beautiful layup with 1 minute, 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the Huskies a 3-point lead. The play set up the eventual game saving block made by McGirk.

“Jordan had another great game for us,” Hoyt said. “We needed her rebounding and finishing ability. It was important for us to get the win on a night like this when we didn’t play especially well on the road. We will learn a lot from this game as we move into next week.”

Purdue Northwest out-rebounded the Huskies 35-30 and shot 40-percent overall, including 33-percent (5-for-15) from 3-point range. Anjel Galbraith and Danielle Nennig shared the team lead with 11 points apiece while Molly Devalkenaere snared her first double-double of the season with 10 points, 11 rebounds.

The Husky starting five munched most of the minutes with Mackay playing the most time at 39 minutes. Alex Rondorf contributed off the bench with five points and a pair of blocks. Similar to Friday, both teams made frequent trips to the free throw line and the Huskies got the better of the exchange and hit 14 of 20 attempts (70-percent) compared to 11 of 19 (58-percent) for PNW.

Michigan Tech women’s basketball returns to Houghton for its home opening two-game set against Northwood University February 15-16. The team is playing a shortened conference schedule in the new year but a chance to make the GLIAC post-season tournament is on the table.

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