Seniors lead Tech men’s hoops vs. Cardinals

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

HOUGHTON, Mich. – Senior guards Austin Armga and Alex Culy led the Michigan Tech men’s basketball team to a 68-53 victory over Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Feb. 15) in the final regular season home game at the SDC Gym. The Huskies improved to 18-5 overall and 14-5 in the GLIAC with the win.

The two—who were honored before the game in a Senior Day ceremony at center court—combined to score the Huskies first seven points of the game. The Black and Gold went on a 24-4 run to take a commanding 18-point lead with seven minutes to go before halftime. The Cardinals scored the final four points of the opening half as Tech led 33-20 at the break.

The second half was never in question as Armga nailed a jumper out of the break and Ben Stelzer drained a 3-pointer to get the lead back to 18 with 17:47 to go.

SVSU (9-13, 5-13 GLIAC) got the margin down to 13 a few minutes later after scoring five straight points, but Tech took its largest lead of the game at 19 with 9:12 remaining.

The seniors exited the game to a standing ovation with 2:04 on the clock.

“It was a big win for us at home and I’m especially proud that our two seniors played well and came out victorious,” Tech coach Kevin Luke said.

“Both those guys came out and really wanted it. They had a lot of energy early after an emotional ceremony and it really shows what they’ve meant to this program. I couldn’t ask any more of those two young men.”

Tech shot 23-for-55 (41.8 percent) from the field and 7-for-27 (25.9 percent) from beyond the arc. The Huskies made nine more free throws (15-6) than the Cardinals and forced 18 turnovers that converted to 20 points.

Armga finished with a game-high 25 points on 9-for-17 shooting. He also added six rebounds. Culy finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

“I’m excited about the way our defense has been playing the last couple weeks,” added Luke. “We didn’t soot particularly well today but we set screens, had a lot of motion in our offense and moved the ball well.”

Stelzer was the other Husky in double figures with 10 points. Luke Heller and Jordan Chartier chipped in with eight each. Kyle Stankowski had five rebounds and four points.

Calvin Turnage led the Cardinals with 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting. SVSU shot 46 percent (23-for-50) from the field but only 1-for-16 (6.3 percent) from three.

The Huskies wrap up the regular season with three road games, beginning on Feb. 20 at Northwood. The other games are at Lake Superior State (Feb. 22) and Northern Michigan (Feb. 27).