As the 2014-15 regular season comes to an end, the Michigan Tech women’s basketball team rests at 11th in the nation with an incredible record of 22-1. While many students and community members aren’t aware of the women’s success this year, the season is close to taking its turn into the playoffs.
Starting off the season being picked to place second in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, the Huskies fought their way through two top-ten teams and stand on a 13 game winning streak going into the second-to-last regular season weekend. The Huskies first broke into the top-25 in the week of December 16, starting at 20th. Falling to 24th after their singular loss to Tiffin on January 4th, they have climbed to 11th in the nation. With the NCAA Tournament in sight, the Huskies are keeping up their strong play.
After defeating Hillsdale College by a statement-making score of 88-54, the team secured their 13th GLIAC regular season title. With three games left before the GLIAC tournament, the Huskies are playing at the top of their game. About to leave for a two game road trip to GLIAC foes Northwood University and Lake Superior State, the focus of the Huskies remains on the driving force of their successes – defense.
In their last five games, Michigan Tech has held each of their opponents to an average of 50.0 point. With the program priding itself on strong defensive games, junior forward Dani Blake has been an important part of their success. Averaging 7.4 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.9 steals per game, Blake’s strong play, including a 15 point, 10 rebound, 6 assist and record tying 7 block effort against Northwood on January 29th, has held the Huskies to their one-loss record.
Senior Jillian Ritchie has been having great success in her final season in black and gold. Ritchie has scored 20+ points in three of the Huskies victories. Defensively, Ritchie hasn’t been quiet either; in a 65-54 victory against no. 11 Concordia-St. Paul on November 21st, she posted 13 rebounds. Averaging 5.7 rebounds and 10.3 points per game, Ritchie’s strong defensive and offensive play has been a helping hand for the Huskies.
Sophomores Morgan Anderson, Kelli Guy, and Brenna Heise round out the starting lineup. Anderson’s strong ball control and sharp shooting have kept the Huskies in games and the offense running smoothly. Shooting guard Kelli Guy has taking the SDC Wood Gym by storm with her impeccable three point shooting skills. Brenna Heise’s short-corner shot is nearly impossible to guard, and the sophomore’s on-par shooting has caused countless problems for nearly every defense that the Huskies have encountered.
The Huskies finish their regular season with three road games starting on Thursday, February 19th when they travel to Midland to play the Northwood Timberwolves, then face the Lake Superior State Lakers on Saturday, February 21st. Tip-off is at 6pm on Thursday and 1pm on Saturday. Michigan Tech finishes the regular season against rivals Northern Michigan on February 26th in Marquette at 5:30pm.
For more information on Michigan Tech’s women’s basketball team, including highlights, game stats, game notes, and player profiles, visit their website.