Stelzer & Stankowski carry Huskies past Lakers

HOUGHTON — Ben Stelzer scored 23 points and Kyle Stankowski added 18 more to lead Michigan Tech past Grand Valley State 77-65 in GLIAC men’s basketball today at the SDC Gym. The Huskies outscored the Lakers 49-34 in the second half and hit 30-of-33 free throws in the game.

Stelzer posted 15 of his 23 points after half, and was the catalyst for the Black and Gold as they pulled away down the stretch. Not only did he score all of his second-half points in the final 8:30, he got the Huskies rolling with an assist.

The preseason GLIAC Player of the Year threaded a baseline pass to Phil Romback for a layup at the 9:07 mark that gave Tech a five-point lead. The margin grew to 11 before a couple quick scores pulled GVSU back within 58-52.

Jordan Chartier hit a timely triple from the left side for a nine-point margin, then Stelzer added seven straight points with a 3-pointer, a long two and a pair of foul shots.

The Huskies made seven of their last eight at the stripe to close out their fifth straight victory over Grand Valley State.

“It was a typical Tech-Grand Valley game,” said Tech coach Kevin Luke. “It’s evenly matched, and both teams like to emphasize defense.

“We made the some shots down the stretch coupled with some free throws and found a way to win.”

Tech (10-4, 7-3 GLIAC) finished at 55 percent shooting from the floor and held a 28-21 rebounding advantage. GVSU (9-7, 5-5 GLIAC) shot 45 percent from the field.

Grand Valley State jumped out to an 18-10 lead in the game’s first nine minutes.

Stankowski was responsible for keeping the hosts close. The 6-9 junior made good on his first three field goals and four free throws to pull the Black and Gold within 22-19 at the 5:25 mark.

GVSU took a 31-28 advantage into halftime. Tech held the Lakers to 12 points in the first 12 minutes of the second half before Stelzer got it rolling down the stretch.

Jordan Chartier scored 16 points to join Stelzer and Stankowski in double figures. The trio combined for 57 of the Huskies’ 77 points in the game. In addition to putting up a game-high 23 points, Stelzer also had game highs of six rebounds and six assists. Twelve of his 23 points came at the foul line where he made 12-of-13 attempts.

Michigan Tech will play next at Hillsdale next Thursday (Jan. 22). Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.

(Information/Photo Courtesy of MTU Athletics)