Huskies take early exit in GLIAC tournament

Hannah Hobson shoots the ball against Ferris State Wednesday.

Hannah Hobson shoots the ball against Ferris State Wednesday.

The Michigan Tech Huskies women’s basketball team (23-5, 17-3 GLIAC) hosted the Ferris State Bulldogs (15-15, 8-12 GLIAC) in the opening round of the GLIAC tournament. The Bulldogs used balance scoring, strong rebounding, and stout defense to slip past the Huskies 67-57.

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, the Huskies started out the game with a turnover and a foul. Luckily the Bulldogs didn’t have a good day at the free throw line as they went 12-25. The Bulldogs put the first points on the board converting a layup. Less than 30 seconds later senior Brenna Heise knocked down a jumper to tie the game up at two.

The Bulldogs went on a quick 4-0 run to take a 6-2 lead, but a layup by senior Hannah Stoll, and a three by senior Kelli Guy gave the Huskies their first lead of the game at 7-6. The Huskies maintained their lead, as a three by sophomore Hannah Hobson put the Huskies up 12-9. However, two layups and a free throw by the Bulldogs put Ferris up 14-12 to end the first quarter.

Both teams started the second quarter answering each other basket for basket. The Bulldogs started to pull away from Tech, as a layup and a three put Ferris up 24-18 with 6:20 left in the second quarter. A layup by junior Elizabeth Kelliher and a three by freshman Cassidy Trotter brought the Huskies right back into the game at 24-23 Ferris with 4:11 left in the second quarter. Ferris converted two layups to go into halftime with the Bulldogs up 30-25.

The Bulldogs increased their lead with a quick layup to make it 32-25 coming out of halftime. Tech fought back as jumpers by Heise and Guy and a layup by Kelliher tied the game back up at 34. A free throw by Stoll gave the lead back to the Huskies, making it 35-34 Tech with 5:52 left in the third quarter. Both teams battled each other basket for basket the next few minutes. However, the Bulldogs went on a 7-1 run to take a 45-38 lead with 2:05 left in the quarter. A layup by the Bulldogs ended quarter three in favor of Ferris, 47-40.

The Huskies started to battle back in the start of the fourth quarter, as a jumper by Heise and a layup by Kelliher made it 48-44 Ferris with 8:10 left in the game. It seemed like anytime the Huskies found the bottom of the net the Bulldogs had an answer. The Bulldogs took a 56-48 lead after converting a jumper and a layup with six minutes left.

A free throw by Stoll and a layup by Kelliher brought the Huskies back within five, 56-51 FSU with 5:04 left in the game. However, the Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run to take a double-digit lead with 2:29 left in the game. A layup by Kelliher and a three by Guy brought the Huskies back within five, making it 61-56 Ferris with 1:42 left in the game. However, the Huskies couldn’t bank in a shot as the Bulldogs went on to win 67-57.

The Huskies were led in scoring by Kelliher with 17. Guy finished with 11, and Heise with 10 to round out the double-digit scorers. Trotter contributed five, while Stoll and junior Michelle LaFave each pitched in four. Hobson finished with three, while senior Sarah LewAllen had two, and sophomore Baille McGirk with one. Kelliher finished the double double by leading the Huskies with 12 rebounds. Guy, Heise, McGirk, and Stoll each led the Huskies with three assists. Kelliher had two steals, while Heise, Stoll, and Trotter each had a block.

In other quarter-final action the Ashland Eagles (31-0, 20-0 GLIAC) defeated the Davenport Panthers (8-20, 6-14 GLIAC) 88-39 in Ashland, Ohio. The Northwood Timberwolves (17-11, 12-8 GLIAC) defeated the Wayne State Warriors (19-8, 14-6 GLIAC) 64-56 in Detroit, Michigan. The Grand Valley State Lakers (25-6, 16-4 GLIAC) defeated the Northern Michigan Wildcats 58-40 in Allendale, Michigan.

The Bulldogs moved on to lose to the Grand Valley State Lakers in the semi-final 67-45 in Ashland, Ohio. The Ashland Eagles (31-0, 20-0 GLIAC) defeated the Northwood Timberwolves (17-11, 12-8 GLIAC) 111-75. The Ashland Eagles were crowned the GLIAC tournament champions as they defeated Grand Valley 85-74.

The Huskies received and at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, and will travel to Ashland, Ohio to face the Grand Valley State Lakers in the opening round. The Huskies swept the Lakers in both meetings earlier this year. They defeated the Lakers in overtime 85-81 at Grand Valley, and defeated the Lakers 68-61 in Houghton. Tipoff is projected for 7:30 pm this Friday, March 9. 3