Huskies lose critical women’s game

DETROIT – Despite managing just 15 first-half points and giving up 22 offensive rebounds to Wayne State Thursday, the Michigan Tech women’s basketball team still had a chance to win in Detroit and seize the GLIAC North Division lead.

That is what’s haunting coach Kim Cameron.

With 16 seconds remaining, Warriors forward Talisha Bridges gifted the Huskies a pair of missed free throws for Tech to have one final shot in a one-point game.

Or at least, that is how it should have gone down.

Instead, Wayne senior forward Phaebre Colbert grabbed her seventh offensive rebound of the game after Bridges’ second miss and the Huskies were never able to get another shot up. Wayne won 55-53 to improve to 14-3 in conference play. Tech is now 13-5.

“The rebounds off free throws are killer. That is unacceptable,” Cameron said.

“We had our opportunities to win and we just didn’t take advantage of them. Sam Hoyt (27 points on 9-of-16 shooting) did everything humanly, physically possible to will her team to a victory and it is unfortunate that we couldn’t have anyone else step up. Both her and (fellow senior) Emma (Veach) played with everything that they had.”

With Veach and Hoyt playing just a combined 22 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, the offense completely fell off the rails.

The Huskies converted on just 6-of-34 shots (17 percent) and missed all nine three-point attempts.

“There was an opportunity for somebody to step up and really be a leader and we didn’t have it,” Cameron said. “And we needed it.”

Hoyt scored all 27 of her points in the second half to will the Huskies back in the game, but Wayne’s 22 second-chance points proved too much to overcome.

Remove Hoyt and Veach’s shooting stats, and the rest of the Tech women made just 5-of-37 (14 percent) attempts.

“At some point we need someone else to step up,” Cameron said. “Nobody filled those shoes. That is hard, because we have three other starters and a bench on this team. Wayne missed 19 free throws and we couldn’t take advantage. This is a hard loss.”