Ashland, Ohio – Michigan Tech put together a 14-0 run in the third quarter to tie the game, but fell to Trevecca Nazarene 65-63 in the NCAA Midwest Region quarterfinals at Cates Gymnasium.
Kiley Carter led the Trojans with 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Huskies’ postseason came to a close Friday night.
Alex Rohndorf led the way with 17 points and 10 rebounds, but the Huskies struggled from 3-point range, making just 7 of 26 attempts (26.9 percent).
Michigan Tech reached 21St NCAA appearance and finished the year 25-7 overall. Ellie Mackay finished her illustrious five-year career in 109 games in black and gold as MTU’s second all-time leading scorer.
The Huskies traded blows with the Trojans early but trailed 13-12 after one quarter. Carter helped TNU push its advantage to nine, 34-27, before Tech closed within seven. Tech connected on 1 of 12 long-range attempts to start the game, but came back with a 14-0 run in the third quarter to tie the score at 41-41.
Isabella Lenz pulled Tech to within 61-60 with 56 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Then a steal by Faith Wilken forced the Huskies to foul with eight seconds left. After two free throws made it a 3-point play, the Huskies committed another turnover and sent Carter to the lane for two more.
The Huskies drove the ball and Lenz hit a layup three for Tech. Carter then threw a pass on the sideline on the ensuing possession, allowing Tech one more chance with 1.1 seconds left and a premature end.
Rohndorf floated a pass to Caitlin Meister in the paint, but her shot rolled behind the rim at the final horn and the Huskies were down by two.
Michigan Tech finished the 2022-23 season 14-0 at home. The team qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice in five seasons under head coach Sam Clayton.
“It was definitely a sad end to a great season,” commented head coach Sam Clayton. “It’s unfortunate when you have the year we had last year. We didn’t play to our potential. We had a lot more urgency in the second half, which was good. We didn’t shoot very well overall. And Trevecca’s key players made big plays. They’re a good team, well coached and had good results. They are, so kudos to them.
Fifth-seeded Trevecca Nazarene (22-9) advances to the semifinals against No. 1 Ashland (32-0) on Saturday. The Trojans won just five games last season but booked a spot in the NCAA Tourney after going 14-0 on their home court in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Trojans shot 34.3 percent (23-67) overall, 35.7 percent (5-14) from beyond the arc, and 93.3 percent (14-15) at the free throw line. TNU grabbed 41 rebounds, including 14 on the offensive glass.
Emma Palmer (13 points) and Lily Wilken (10 points) contributed offensively for Trevecca Nazre.
Michigan Tech finished with 39 rebounds and Meister knocked down three of the Huskies’ six blocked shots. MTU made 12 changes.
“It was great to see Alex with a double-double,” Clayton said. “Bella was close to a double-double. Sarah hit a big shot for us late. Kate had some good moves at the rim, so those were some positives. Our seniors always do it for us, but we just came up short.”