Michigan Tech men edged by Cavs in Canton

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — Michigan Tech dropped its second straight GLIAC game today, falling to Walsh 69-63 at Alumni Arena. The Huskies (3-2, 0-2 GLIAC) had a nine-point lead early in the second half but couldn’t hold on to get their first league win.

Ben Stelzer dropped in 27 points to lead all scorers, but the Cavaliers shot 55 percent from the field in their win.

“We made progress today,” said Tech coach Kevin Luke. “I’m not happy we lost, but I’m happy that we got better.

“We got that lead in the second half and fizzled a little bit. It’s not an excuse, but I think being on the road 10 of the last 12 days took its toll on our guys.”

Both teams were coming off tough losses in their GLIAC opener Thursday (Dec. 4), and something had to give.

Walsh built up a 25-14 lead in the first 13 minutes before the Huskies battled back. Phil Romback, Jordan Chartier and Stelzer (2) all hit 3-pointers to pull the Black and Gold even at 28-all with 2:36 left in the stanza. The hosts scored the final four points of the half to enter the halftime locker room up 32-28.

Tech came out of the intermission with strong play on both ends. Eight points by Jason Hawke in the first seven minutes of the second helped the Huskies build a nine-point lead. Walsh came back to get within one at 50-49 with 9:04 showing. Nobody scored again until a four-point play by Jesse Hardin with 7:40 remaining, which was likely the turning point against the Huskies. They never regained the lead.

Stelzer made three free throws with 2:17 left to make it a one-possession game, but Hardin’s jumper pushed the margin back to five. He also swished four free throws in crunch time to help account for the final 69-63 margin.

Tech shot 43 percent from the field and 10-of-30 (33 percent) from 3-point range. Walsh hit 55 percent of its field goals.

Hawke (11 points) was the only Tech player joining Stelzer in double figures. Phil Romback turned in a game-high eight rebounds off the bench.

Trey Fletcher led a balanced Cavaliers attack with 16 points. Hardin had 14.

Michigan Tech will finally play a regular season home game next week. Findlay comes to Houghton next Thursday (Dec. 11) for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

(Information/Photo Courtesy of MTU Athletics)