HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech became the first team to win three consecutive NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Midwest Regional titles with a 69-57 victory against Wisconsin-Parside on Monday at the SDC Gym. The Huskies received double-digit scoring efforts from four players to improve to 29-2 overall and advance to next week’s Elite Eight.
Tech led by as many 17 points in the contest, but held off a late Ranger run to come away victorious.
“What a fantastic ending to a game,” said coach Kim Cameron. “Give Parkside credit. They didn’t give up and made a run like we knew they would. I’m so proud of my team and how they kept their composure.”
Michigan Tech led by 14 with less than nine minutes to play before UWP (24-7) scored eight consecutive points to close within 57-51 at the five-minute mark. Lisa Staehlin then went to work in the post, making a nice move for a layup to push the margin back to eight.
Jadee Rooney hit a layup after an offensive rebound on the next trip down the floor to cut it down to six. The Huskies proceeded to go 10 of 12 from the free throw line with no turnovers in the final four minutes. Tech also turned up the defensive intensity in holding the Rangers to just one field goal on their final seven attempts.
Tech used its lethal 1-2 punch in the post again tonight with a team-high 17 points coming from Staehlin and 12 more from Lynn Giesler. Both players made the all-tournament team. Staehlin was 8 of 8 from the field while Giesler went 6 of 11 to help the Huskies outscore UWP 32-26 in the paint.
Lucy Dernovsek had 13 points, eight rebounds and three each of assists, blocks and steals. She was the third Huskies player named to the all-tournament team and also became Tech’s single-season blocks leader during the contest (66).
Sam Hoyt was the fourth Husky in double figures with 12.
Rooney tallied a game-high 20 points for the Rangers. She and Quincy senior Courtney Shuman were the other two players named to the all-tournament team.
Tech battled through some early nerves and a 7-4 deficit by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers for a 10-7 lead four minutes into the game. The margin grew to 22-11 as the hosts’ defense limited UWP to four points during a nine-minute span.
The Huskies went into halftime up 35-20. The gap remained at 13 or more in the second half until Parkside’s run.
As opposed to Saturday night’s semifinal vs. Drury where Michigan Tech drained 11 3-pointers, the Huskies had to rely on its interior presence. The Black and Gold made just 3-of-11 attempts from behind the arc but still shot 53 percent from the field.
UW-Parkside was held just under 40 percent from the field. The difference in field goal shooting was the difference in the final score.
Michigan Tech built upon several streaks it had coming into the game. The Huskies have now won a school-record-tying 16 consecutive games overall, 32 consecutive home games and nine consecutive Midwest Regional games.