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Tech thwarted by Purdue Northwest 76-52

MTU vs. PNW
MTU vs. PNW(MTU)
Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 6:29 PM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Tech failed to keep pace with Purdue Northwest in the second half as the Pride pulled away 76-52 in men’s basketball Sunday afternoon at SDC Gymnasium. The Huskies made a charge to lead by a point at halftime but could not mount a true scoring threat in the final 20 minutes as they split their two-game series with PNW in Houghton this weekend.

Anthony Barnard led the Pride with 23 points and six rebounds and Vincent Miszkiewicz notched a double-double with 15 points, 14 rebounds. PNW out-rebounded MTU 44-32, nabbed eight steals, and made 17 of 20 free throws (85-percent).

Tech junior guard Eric Carl had a strong outing with 14 points despite the loss and finished just one point shy of his career high.

“We had a nice run to go ahead at halftime,” commented Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke. “We just didn’t sustain our ability to execute on offense or defense in the second half. You have to credit Purdue Northwest because they stuck with their game plan and did what they needed to do on the road the second day better than we did.”

The Pride held a marginal advantage through the first part of the contest. Then Carl impressed with four made 3-pointers on his first five attempts to help the Huskies to a 30-29 lead. MTU never found its scoring stride however and the team mustered just 22 points the rest of the way.

“Eric is getting better and playing well for longer periods,” Luke said. “As a team, no one really shot that well though and we know scoring 52 points in your own facility is not good enough to win games. We are not going to make shots all the time. That’s why it is so important to be great on defense and we just didn’t find it today.”

The Pride put together a 10-4 run to start the second half, then rendered the game out of reach with a 19-point advantage and just three minutes to go. In the end, Coach Luke used every player available on the bench to log valuable minutes.

The Huskies shot just 19-for-58 (33-percent) overall, including 6-for-24 (25-percent) from beyond the arc. Dawson Bilski played with four fouls for much of the second half and finished with eight points. Conversely, PNW found success on 26 of 60 attempts (43-percent) and went 7-for-19 (36-percent) from 3-point range. The Pride was effective at getting to the free throw line and cashed in on 85-percent of its tries. Four players contributed 12 points off the bench and Mikell Cooper distributed five assists. Miszkiewicz picked off five of Purdue Northwest’s eight total steals.

Tech senior forward Trent Bell managed 11 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double this season. Bell made 4 of 13 field goals and marked four offensive boards.

With a win Saturday over the Pride 68-59, the Huskies (1-1) split a pair of back-to-back home games. They are due to travel to Northwood University (2-0) on Friday, January 15-16. The Timberwolves added two road wins at Davenport over the weekend.

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