Huskies can’t stop GVSU’s balanced offense

Courtesy: Michigan Tech
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 6:09 PM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Jake Van Tubbergen scored 17 points for Grand Valley State and Michigan Tech men’s basketball fell 70-62 at SDC Gymnasium Friday afternoon in Houghton. The Huskies managed a 38-35 lead at halftime but shot just 2-for-17 from beyond the arc after the break and the Lakers took the first game of the season series.

“We played hard but I felt the difference was their two guys inside, (Van Tubbergen and Christian Negron),” said MTU head coach Kevin Luke. “They are an extremely difficult team to guard and contain because they have five guys who can be the leading scorer on any given night. We tried to take away their strengths and I thought our defense was good enough to win, but our offense was not. We just have to stay with it and continue to try and make shots fall and hope the next game goes in our favor.”

Owen White led all players with 20 points (8-for-20) but went just 4-for-14 in the second half for the Huskies. Eric Carl was efficient with 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting and Adam Hobson played well off the bench with 10 points, three rebounds. Meanwhile, Grand Valley saw four players reach double-figures. Van Tubbergen shot 7-for-12 for 17 points. Negron tallied 15 points and six boards, while Jordan Harris and Deleon Brown were effective with 14 and 12 points respectively.

The Lakers committed just eight turnovers and passed 14 assists. GVSU made 26 of 56 tries from the field (46.4-percent) and 7 of 16 (43.8-percent) from 3-point range. Conversely, the Huskies finished 24-for-58 (41.4-percent) but made just 8 of 29 (27.6-percent) of long-range shots. Both teams hauled in 34 rebounds.

Neither team struggled to score early and the Huskies took a 17-12 advantage after hitting seven of their first nine shot attempts. The Lakers rallied back to tie the game 35-35 but Carter Johnston completed a 3-point play in the lane to put MTU back on top at the half.

Out of the locker room, Grand Valley State took a 14-8 run to go ahead 52-43. Blake Verbeeke energized the Lakers with a difficult angle 3-pointer right in front of the team bench. White answered with a smooth basket off the high glass and Johnston took a charge, but it was not enough to get the Huskies back to the lead and they trailed the rest of the way.

Grand Valley State, a veteran laden squad successfully evaded Tech’s full court pressure in the final five minutes and made free throws late to keep the game just out of reach.

Michigan Tech (9-6) hosts Grand Valley State (9-5) again Saturday in Houghton. Tipoff for senior day is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at SDC Gymnasium.

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