If there’s one game the BR-8 Michigan Tech Huskies wish they could take back it would be their Jan. 4 performance at BR-193 Tiffin. The 80-66 loss is the only defeat the squad has suffered on their way to a 22-1 record (18-1 GLIAC).
With just three games left in their 2014-15 regular season campaign, the Huskies are looking to build up enough momentum to carry them deep into a playoff run that could see them return home as national champions.
After looking pretty flat in the loss at Tiffin, Michigan Tech struck back and showed no mercy on Lake Erie, to the tune of a 75-35 victory to get back on course. Beat downs of Ashland, Ferris St. and Grand Valley St. followed and the Huskies rolled to 13 straight wins, including a 53-42 W over Saginaw Valley State on Valentine’s Day.
Most opponents have struggled mightily against the potent offense Michigan Tech brings to the floor. Four athletes on the roster are averaging double digit point totals per game this season, including Danielle Blake (12.3), Morgan Anderson (11.4), Kelli Guy (10.7) and Jillian Ritchie (10.3). Sophomore Brenna Heise isn’t far behind with 9.7 points per game.
Michigan Tech relies heavily on its offense and not many players are putting up eye-opening stats in the paint or on the defensive end.
Blake leads the team in rebounds with 7.4 per game and Ritchie is the next on the list with 5.7. When it comes to steals, Blake has 1.9 and Guy has 1.2. That isn’t anything to write home about, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it — there certainly isn’t anything broke about the way this squad is piling up Ws.
The only glaring weakness the team holds is a relative lack of depth. Anderson, Blake, Heise and Ritchie all average more than 30 minutes on the floor per game. Guy averages 27.8 minutes per game and isn’t far behind her teammates. This is partly by design, but it’s created a chasm of experience. If any one of those key players gets in foul trouble or suffers an injury, the Huskies could be in for some trouble.
The only bench player who has seen significant playing time is Kylie Moxley, who is putting up 5.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in about 13.4 minutes of action per game.
If the four-time Midwest Region champions, and 2010-11 national runner-up, want to make a deep run into the postseason, it’s likely going to take someone stepping up off the bench. The teams they’ll face in the tournament will come with good coaches and deep benches, so it won’t take long for the Huskies’ main five players to feel the pressure.
To close out the regular season, Michigan Tech does have a couple tough matchups to get them ready. First comes BR-54 Northwood (MI) then it’s BR-175 Lake Superior St. before closing the schedule against BR-34 Northern Michigan.