PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Lake Erie ran into a buzz saw on Thursday, as the Storm fell to a surging Michigan Tech squad, 81-57, in a contest that marked the first of four straight games at home for the Green & White.
The Huskies (9-2, 7-0 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) – now winners of eight consecutive games – shot a lights-out 54 percent (27-of-50) for the game. The mark included the MTU going 10-of19 from beyond the 3-point arc.
In a balanced effort, Michigan Tech had eight players score six points or more. Three players – Paige Albi, Kylie Moxley, Mackenzie Perttu – led the way with 13 each.
The Storm (6-7, 1-6) gave the co-leaders of the GLIAC North Division a game effort – the Green & White were within 10 of Huskies three-quarters of the way through the game. Kaedeing Skelton (13 points), Chrissy Delaney (12 points) and Jackie Murray (nine points, six assists) led the way for LEC.
"We played well in stretches," said Head Coach Bob Booher. "But it's tough to beat a team that plays like Michigan Tech did tonight. They shoot the ball well and play a good inside-outside game."
The Storm were clicking early, taking a 10-5 lead at the outset of the game. Daija Jones drained a pair of threes as part of LEC going 4-for-its-first-6 from the floor. The Huskies wrested away that early momentum, going on an 11-5 run to take a 16-15 lead by the midpoint of the half.
Lake Erie's early successes turned into missed opportunities as the half wore on. LEC failed to score on numerous opportunities in the paint, and on more than a couple occasions, the Storm's misses were followed by MTU 3-pointers at the other end of the floor. The Huskies went 4-of-10 from distance in the first; that success led to Michigan Tech holding a 34-27 lead when the two teams adjourned to their respective locker rooms at halftime.
The Storm managed to stay close in the first despite going 5-for-their-last-19 from the field. With 10 points, Kaeding Skelton led all scorers in the first stanza.
The Huskies' lead waxed and waned between seven and 12 points over the early minutes of the second, but when freshman guard Kelli Guy drained a three from the right wing at the midpoint of the half, Michigan Tech found itself up by 16. The visitors continued to hit treys in the second half, and they controlled the boards which helped to keep LEC from making any sustained runs.
MTU extended its lead to 20 (65-45) by the 6:13-mark. They wound their way to 47 second-half points by shooting 57.7 percent (15-of-26) over the game's final 20 minutes.
Kelli Guy and Kylie Moxley went a combined 7-for-9 from 3-point range. The Huskies out-rebounded the Storm, 34-21.
Skelton scored her 13 points by going 4-of-6 from the field and 5-of-7 from the foul line. Both teams shot the ball well from the line – Lake Erie went 20-of-23 (87 percent); MTU went 17-of-18 (94.4 percent).
The Huskies haven't lost since November. On Thursday night, the Storm found out why that's the case.