SOMERS, Wis. — Ben Stelzer scored 32 points but Michigan Tech fell 69-62 at UW-Parkside today in both team’s final non-conference games. The game featured 13 second-half lead changes before the host Rangers (8-1) made the key plays at the end.
Jordan Mach nailed a 3-pointer to put UWP up 60-57 with 3:12 showing. Stelzer answered with triple to knot it back up.
Another Mach triple with 1:44 to go made it a five-point Rangers’ margin. Stelzer hit a long two to pull the Black and Gold within 65-62, but the hosts scored again for another five-point lead at :30 remaining.
Tech had three looks to cut into the margin but could not. UWP added two points at the free throw line for the final margin.
“They’re a good team,” said Tech coach Kevin Luke. “Credit needs to go where it’s due. They guarded us hard and didn’t give us many second shots.
“Ben had another great game, but we didn’t get the balance that we were looking for.”
An intense first half saw Tech trail as many 11 points on two separate occasions. The Rangers held a 31-20 advantage with just over four minutes remaining before the Huskies responded with a 15-4 run to end the half.
Jordan Chartier pulled Tech within 34-32 with 43 seconds left, then Ben Stelzer added a layup to knot the game at 34-all with :05 showing. Chartier then stole the inbounds pass and fed Stelzer who got fouled and made one of two free throws for a 35-34 lead at half.
Neither team led by more than three in the second half until the final two minutes.
Stelzer’s 32-point effort was his second 30-point game of the season He hit 11-of-21 shots including 7-of-12 from 3-point range. Luke Heller was Tech’s next highest scorer at nine.
Tech shot 48 percent from the field compared to 44 percent for the hosts. The Huskies committed 15 turnovers, however, with 10 coming after halftime.
UW-Parkside made 19-of-33 free throws in the game. Tech was 9-of-11, but did not attempt a second half foul shot.
Michigan Tech (5-3) will now have 12 days off before a Jan. 2 GLIAC game at Ohio Dominican.
(Information/Photo Courtesy of MTU Athletics)