Balanced scoring powers Michigan Tech Men past Lakers

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 1:03 AM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - In a near carbon copy of Tuesday night, Michigan Tech men’s basketball was pushed to the brink in the late stages of the second half; but again, the Huskies stayed on top. Tech won its fourth straight game 70-64 over Lake Superior State at SDC Gymnasium Thursday. Leading by 12 with under three minutes to play, the Lakers created turnovers and knocked down back-to-back threes to close to within four points 65-61 with 39 seconds still the clock. Carter Johnston calmly dropped in a pair of free throws before Malek Adams hit another 3-pointer for Lake Superior State. Then Trent Bell went 2-for-2 from the line to finally seal victory for the home team.

“A win’s a win of course, and you always will take them,” head coach Josh Buettner said. “We just need to be tougher, take care of the ball, and be the aggressors. It has to be something where the guys look within, want the ball, and want to make a good pass in that situation.”

The Lakers scored the first seven points of the game before the Huskies took their first lead 17-15 with eight and a half minutes to go in the first half. Adam Hobson’s long-range jumper pushed the advantage to six and the Huskies carried a 32-28 edge into the locker room. White and Hobson connected early in the second half to push Tech back ahead by double-figures. With LSSU threatening to swing momentum back in their favor, Jalen Carter dove on top of a loose ball in front of the LSSU bench, allowing Owen White to turn it into three points in transition, which energized the team and the crowd with under five minutes left in regulation.

White led the Huskies with 17 points and shot an efficient 8-for-11 in 36 minutes on the floor. Trent Bell came close to a double-double with 14 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Bell made a spectacular block in the second half when he tracked down Malek Adams from behind and swatted the ball off the backboard with 2:28 left in the game. White, Eric Carl, and Carter Johnston also recorded blocks for MTU.

Adam Hobson continued his recent scoring surge with 13 points, five rebounds, and one steal. Hobson was 5-for-11 and 3-for-7 from beyond the arc. Accustomed to leading the assist chart, Carter Johnston showed his scoring pedigree with 10 points (4-7) and a pair of free throws. Carter’s primary defensive role was integral in the final minute and the senior also pitched in eight points and a pair of steals in 16 minutes off the bench.

“That was a tough, hard-nosed team that we played out there today,” quipped Carter. “We knew we had to be as sharp as we possibly could and stay strong defensively. I just tried to do what I could to give our guys a spark and provide them energy. Let them feed off of me and then just go.”

Michigan Tech (6-2, 2-0 GLIAC) shot 47.3-percent (27-57) overall and 25-percent (6-24) from deep. MTU passed 15 assists and committed 12 turnovers. C.J. Robinson led Lake Superior State (5-2, 1-2 GLIAC) on offense with 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting. Kingsley Perkins reeled in seven rebounds and Malek Adams Added 15 points. The Lakers posted a 38.6-percent field goal percentage (22-57) and made use of 18 trips to the free throw line (72.2-percent).

The Huskies moved to 3-0 on their current eight-game homestand. They welcome No. 20 Ferris State (8-1, 3-0) Saturday, December 11 at 2 p.m. before three non-conference matchups (Finlandia, Winona State, and Algoma).

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