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MTU Men’s Basketball gets tough win over LSSU

Courtesy: Michigan Tech
(WLUC)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 9:49 PM EST
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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Huskies withstood a 3-point barrage in the first half and clawed their way to a 79-74 road victory over Lake Superior State Friday afternoon at the Bud Cooper Gymnasium. Owen White charged Tech’s offense with 29 points and Trent Bell notched a double-double with 15 points, nine rebounds.

Lake Superior State drained 8 of 12 long-range attempts in the opening 20 minutes, then hurt the Huskies with frequent layups after the break. It still wasn’t enough. Eric Carl was efficient from beyond the arc with 15 points and Dawson Bilski was an effective facilitator after drawing the attention of the defense from the start. Later, Carl hit a crucial 3-pointer against a full court press with five seconds remaining in the game off a pass from Bilski. The play iced the game for MTU.

“With how well Lake Superior State was shooting the ball today, I felt fortunate to come out on top,” commented head coach Kevin Luke. “We just kept working and trying and hoping that they would eventually cool off. It was up and down scoring by both teams and we were able to keep the game within a couple of possessions the whole way through.”

Taking a 40-37 lead into halftime, the Huskies put on a clinic by shooting 59-percent with 60-percent of 3-point tries. The Lakers matched MTU when they opened at 56-percent overall and converted 66-percent of 3-pointers. Michigan Tech made a 15-4 run over four minutes to reclaim the lead 65-60 with just under seven minutes to play in the game, then stretched it to a seven-point advantage before LSSU narrowed the score with inside baskets as they closed in on the final minute. Bell made a block with 43 seconds to play and Carl sank a 3-pointer with under five seconds on the shot clock.

“This game served as a great learning experience for some of our guys who haven’t played in as many close end of game situations,” Luke said. “I give credit to our team for defending really hard and we also took relatively good care of the basketball. I thought Dawson (Bilski) really played well for us. When they tried to shut him down in the beginning, he drew defenders and opened up opportunities for other guys.”

Bilski nabbed eight points, four rebounds, and three assists. The Huskies out-rebounded the Lakers 25-22 with seven on the offensive glass. Carter Johnston distributed seven of Tech’s 20 assists and added eight points and a pair of steals. Defending GLIAC North Division player of the week White totaled 29 points (12-for-21) with seven rebounds, two assists, and one block. He also made 5 of 9 long range attempts. Adam Hobson tacked on 15 minutes and 2 points off the bench.

Lake Superior State saw four players reach double-figures, including guard Nigel Colvin with 16 points off the bench. Colvin was economical and tallied seven jumpers on 13 attempts from the field. Starters Kemon Bassett, Malek Adams, and David Wren notched 13 points apiece. All three shot better than 50-percent and Bassett connected on 6 of 7 tries.

Michigan Tech finished 54-percent (23-for-59) overall and 54-percent (13-for-24) from the 3-point arc, though they made it to the free throw line just three times in the game. The Lakers shot 53-percent (29-for-54), including 45-percent (9-for-20) from 3-point land. LSSU struggled mildly at the Line with 7 of 11 free throws. MTU won the turnover margin 14-13, scored 16 points off turnovers, and tallied 36 points in the paint.

The Huskies (4-1) and Lakers (2-3) tipoff again Saturday at 1 p.m. EST in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan in GLIAC men’s basketball. MTU has won its last three games and 11 of its last 12 stemming back to a playoff run cut short last season.

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