Tech men’s hoops fall to Lake State

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men’s basketball team had its six-game winning streak come to an end after suffering an 82-61 loss at No. 18-ranked Lake Superior State on Saturday (Feb. 22). The Huskies fell to 19-6 overall and 15-6 in the GLIAC.

LSSU captured the GLIAC North Division title with the win and improved to 26-3 overall and 18-3 in conference play.

The home team slowly started to take control midway through the second half. Tech trailed by 10 with 11:01 remaining, before LSSU scored on four straight possessions to take an 18-point lead.

The Lakers took a 20-point lead with 3:32 to go and both team were able to sub in reserves.

In the second half, Tech shot 36.7 percent from the floor and made only 1-of-12 3-point attempts, while the home team made 60.9 percent from the field and 5-of-8 from deep.

“We didn’t play very well tonight,” Tech coach Kevin Luke said. “They got good balance offensively and credit goes to them.”

After a Jason Hawke 3-pointer, the Huskies trailed 11-9 with 12:29 before halftime. The Lakers then scored 10 of the next 12 points to take a nine-point lead.

Austin Armga hit a jumper with 1:41 left before the break, and neither team would score in final minute and a half as the Lakers led 33-28 at the half.

Tech finished the game shooting a season-low 32.8 percent (21-for-64) from the field, making only 3-for-23 (13 percent) from the 3-point line.

“We struggled shooting today,” added Luke. “Despite giving up 80 points, I thought we defended them better tonight than last time, but we couldn’t hit a shot on offense.”

Armga scored a team-high 23 points and added six rebounds and three assists. Ben Stelzer (12) and Luke Heller (10) were also in double figures. Alex Culy tied a career-high pulling down eight rebounds.

Derek Billing scored a game-high 25 points for the Lakers who shot 49.1 percent from the field. Alex Williams (19), Tony Harris (12) and Cameron Metz (11) were also in double figures.

Tech plays its final game of the regular season at Northern Michigan on Feb. 27.

“We will bounce back Thursday,” Luke said. “It’s going to be a great rivalry game at Northern and we’ll be ready to go.”

The Huskies have secured a top four seed in the upcoming GLIAC Tournament and will open postseason play at the SDC Gym on March 5.