Armga leads Huskies past Warriors

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to four with a 63-55 victory over Wayne State on Thursday (Feb. 13) at the SDC Gym. The Huskies swept the season series against the Warriors for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

The two teams combined for 49 fouls in a physical, low-scoring game similar to the meeting in Detroit on Jan. 23. The Huskies improve to 17-5 overall and 13-5 in the GLIAC and Wayne State falls to 11-10 overall and 9-9 in league play.

Tech built a four-point halftime lead to 11 midway through the second half after Austin Armga scored seven straight points for the Huskies. WSU cut the margin to three (44-41) with 8:45 on the clock, going on an 8-0 run.

From there the fouls started to pile up with Tech making only two field goals in the final eight and a half minutes but 15 free throws. In the second half alone, the home team was 22-for-27 from the line.

“That’s a big win for use for a couple of reasons,” Tech coach Kevin Luke said. “We swept Wayne State, it keeps us in our spot in the standings and it’s a good start to the last home weekend for our seniors. Now we just have to finish the job Saturday.”

Armga scored a game-high 18 points–with 16 in the second half and 10 coming from the free throw line. He also added six rebounds.

“Austin has a scorers mentality,” Ben Stelzer said. “When he shoots cold in the first half we know that it’ll even out in the second. We have all the confidence in him and he has confidence in himself.”

Stelzer added 12 points, dished out six assists and pulled down four rebounds. Kyle Stankowski was also in double figures with a career-high 10 points. He also added five rebounds. Jason Hawke scored nine points and pulled down seven boards while Alex Culy had a career-high four steals.

Tech took an early 12-4 lead in the first half after a dunk by Stankowski. The Warriors then scored eight straight and held the Huskies scoreless for almost a nine-minute stretch. The Huskies held a four-point halftime lead after closing the half on a 10-6 run.

Clark Bishop (13), Gerald Williams-Taylor (12) and Bryan Coleman (11) all scored in double figures for the Warriors who shot 39.2 percent (20-for-51) from the floor and 3-for-8 (37.5 percent) from three.

The Huskies wrap up the regular season home schedule on Saturday (Feb. 15) against Saginaw Valley State. Tip off is set for 3 p.m. on Senior Day, as Armga and Culy will be honored before the game.

Tech is looking to avenge a two-point loss at SVSU earlier in the year. The Cardinals defeated Northern Michigan 61-50 on Thursday in Marquette.

“We want to send the seniors out with a win and get Saginaw back for the loss down there,” added Stelzer.