PREVIEW: Huskies Set to Begin GLIAC Play against SVSU and Northwood

Sports

Courtesy: MTU Athletics

Dec 04, 2019      

Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Thurs. Dec. 5 • 5:30 p.m. vs Saginaw Valley St. • Sat. Dec. 7 • 12 p.m. vs Northwood.
Michigan Tech (4-2, 0-0 GLIAC) vs Saginaw Valley St. (4-2, 0-0 GLIAC) and Northwood (4-2, 0-0 GLIAC)
Radio: WKMJ Mix 93 FM (Mitch Lake)
Video Stream: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/mtu/
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Live Stats: http://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/wbkb/2019-20/schedule

NON-CONFERENCE GAMES COME TO A CLOSE
Michigan Tech closed out the non-conference portion of the 2019-20 schedule at home against Concordia-St. Paul on November 22 and Minnesota Duluth on November 24. The Huskies fell to the Golden Bears 65-59 followed by a 69-59 setback against the Bulldogs.

In the game against Concordia-St. Paul, sophomore Ellie Mackay connected on 6 of 12 shots from the field on her way to a game high 17 points for the Huskies. Junior Cassidy Trotter followed with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals while senior Hannah Hobson rounded out the double-digit scorers with a season high 11 points and a blocked shot. Senior Abbie Botz wrapped up the night with five points and a team high seven rebounds.

As a team, the Huskies made 24 of 60 shots from the field (40.0%), were 6 for 17 from three-point range (35.3%), and 5 for 7 at the free throw line (71.4%). Tech’s defense forced 16 Concordia-St. Paul turnovers which led to 21 points on the offensive end of the floor. The Huskies ended the evening with 34 points in the paint.

Hobson paced the Huskies’ attack against Duluth with 15 points followed by Mackay with 13 points and three rebounds in Sunday’s game. Trotter rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists while Botz chipped in eight points, had a team high eight rebounds, and distributed four assists.

The Huskies ended the afternoon making 23 of 62 shots from the field (37.1%), were 5 for 21 from three-point range (23.8%), and 8 for 8 at the free throw line (100.0%). Tech recorded 28 points in the paint and notched eight points off of 16 Minnesota Duluth turnovers.

GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Even though the Huskies are only a few games into the season, they rank near the top of the conference in a number of statistical categories. The Huskies are first in the conference in fewest turnovers per game (12.3). Tech is sixth in successful three-point baskets per contest (7.7) and fifth in three-point attempts this per game this season (24.3). The Huskies also check in at No. 3 in free throw shooting percentage at 73.9 percent. Mackay is currently ranked 16th in the GLIAC in scoring at 12.3 points per game with Botz 10th in the conference in rebounds per game (6.9). Trotter enters this weekend 10th in the GLIAC in assists per game at 3.6.

GLIAC PRESEASON POLL
Michigan Tech was selected to finish first in the GLIAC North Division this year when the coaches’ preseason poll was announced Thursday by the conference office. Tech earned 58 points in the poll along with eight first place votes, edging out Northern Michigan who was picked second with 53 points and four first place votes. Ferris State checked in at the No. 3 spot in the North Division with 40 points followed by Parkside with 32 points (No. 4), Lake Superior State had 19 points (No. 5), and Purdue Northwest was issued 14 points (No. 6). Over in the South Division, Grand Valley State holds the No. 1 spot with 61 points and 11 first place votes followed by Ashland University with 51 points and one first place vote. Northwood checks in at No. 3 with 38 points, Wayne State is fourth with 30 points, Davenport lands in the No. 5 spot with 20 points, and Saginaw Valley State is sixth with 16 points.

QUICK STARTS ARE KEY
The Huskies are 2-1 when they own a halftime lead and hold an identical record of 2-1 when scoring 70 or more points in a game this season. Tech had a double digit lead at the break in the season opener against Lewis and went on to win 73-63. The Huskies played one of their best halves of the season at Minnesota State, building a 44-24 advantage at the intermission. Tech held on in the second half for an 80-75 victory that night on the road.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Saginaw Valley State owns an overall record of 4-4 entering Thursday’s game with the Huskies. The Cardinals have wins over Lake Erie, Ursuline, Tiffin, and Hillsdale. Saginaw Valley State has dropped two in a row, falling to Cedarville 59-57 and Ohio Dominican 76-74 right before Thanksgiving weekend. The Cardinals defense ranks third in the GLIAC in fewest points per game allowed (63.1) and lowest opponents field goal percentage (38.1%). They are also third in the league in defensive rebounds per contest at 28.9. The Cardinals are averaging 67.0 points per game while connecting on 41.2% of their field goal opportunities. The Huskies lead the all-time series with Saginaw Valley State 52-34 and have won five in a row coming into Thursday. 

Aaliah Hill leads the Cardinals offense with a 12.1 points per game scoring average and finds success on 50.6 percent of her field goal attempts. She is also the top rebounder on the team with a 5.3 boards per game average. Maddie Barrie follows with an 11.3 points per game scoring average while Kaitlyn Zarycki chips in 10.3 points per game each time she takes the floor. Maddie Maloney guides the team in assists per game at 4.8 per contest.

Northwood is struggling a bit at 1-6 coming into the weekend  and will face Northern Michigan Thursday before taking on the Huskies Saturday afternoon. The Timberwolves lone victory came against Ursuline at home 94-83. The Timberwolves are third in the GLIAC in three-point baskets made per game at 8.4 and are fifth in overall field goal percentage at 41.5 percent. Northwood is averaging 68.0 points per game as a team and are allowing 75.4 points per game to opponents through seven games this season. Michigan Tech leads the all-time series with Northwood 56-18 and have won four in a row. Maizie Taylor leads the offense with an 11.1 points per game average followed by Alli Keyser at 10.9 points per game and a team best 3.4 assists per contest. The three top scorers on the team are all freshmen and the leading rebounder is Hunter Viitala who is a sophomore. Viitala reels in 4.9 rebounds per game for the Timberwolves.

COACH HOYT
Sam Hoyt was named as the ninth head coach of the Michigan Tech women’s basketball program, Director of Athletics Suzanne Sanregret announced Tuesday (May 29, 2018). Hoyt returns to Tech from the University of Sioux Falls where she served as an assistant coach. Hoyt was a standout player for the Huskies, helping lead the program to the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship game as well as garnering multiple individual awards, including All-American Honorable Mention honors. In her first season at Tech (2018-19), Hoyt guided the Huskies to a 21-9 overall record and a 16-4 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Huskies claimed their 16th GLIAC North Division/Conference title last season and were the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.

NEXT UP
The Huskies continue their homestand against rival Northern Michigan on Sunday December 15 at the SDC Gym. The Wildcats are 3-5 overall and also host Northwood and Saginaw Valley State this weekend. Northern Michigan has lost two in a row coming into Thursday’s game with the Timberwolves. Their wins this season came against William Jewell, St. Cloud St. and Concordia-St. Paul.

Courtesy: MTU Athletics

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