Tough defense allows Huskies to hold off Parkside

Balanced scoring is enough for Tech
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 12:34 AM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Tech men’s basketball won a tightly contested game over Wisconsin Parkside 59-53 Thursday night at SDC Gymnasium in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. The Huskies held the Rangers to just one basket over the final 2 minutes, 38 seconds while balancing their scoring from eight different players.

“I thought we really guarded them well in the second half,” said head coach Josh Buettner. “Carter (Johnston) and Owen (White) were spectacular defensively all night. They were trying to go at Owen inside and he held his own and then Carter made Trey Croft work for everything. It was a great effort against an exceptional player. Credit to Parkside for guarding us well too. It was just a defensive battle where every basket had to be earned on both sides.”

White provided a spark around the five-minute mark of the second half when he took a charge in the lane drawing a positive reaction from both the bench and the crowd. Johnston played well on both ends of the court and finished with 11 points, six rebounds, three steals, and five assists. Brad Simonsen contributed 11 points off the bench and was effective from the 3-point arc in the first half.

The Rangers held a narrow edge through most of the opening 20 minutes, but Tech snuck in front 34-32 at the break. Following a turnover, Owen White swatted away a Ranger layup attempt on the fast break to create a positive start to the second half. With under ten minutes remaining, Devin Schmitz provided another highlight when he grabbed his own 3-point rebound and promptly dished it under the hoop to Trent Bell, resulting in a foul and a 3-point play. The Huskies went ahead by two 48-46.

Tech led by six when White stood for a charge. Then strong defending and shooting woes for the Rangers, along with defensive rebounding enabled Tech to hold on.

“We moved the ball well and defended pretty well tonight,” Simonsen said. “Just made plays when we had to. We got the ball inside out and found guys when they were open.”

Michigan Tech (8-3, 4-1 GLIAC) shot 46.2-percent (24-for-52) overall, including 31.6-percent (6-for-19) from long range. The Huskies committed 18 turnovers and dished 13 assists with 34 rebounds. Wisconsin Parkside (5-7, 3-3 GLIAC) shot 33.3-percent (19-for-54) from the field and 22.2-percent (4-for-18) from beyond the arc. The Rangers collected 33 rebounds, five assists, and seven steals while committing 13 turnovers.

The Huskies remain home to host Purdue Northwest at SDC Gymnasium on Saturday, January 8. Game time has been moved from 3 p.m. to 1 p.m. Michigan Tech is in second place in the GLIAC North Division behind Ferris State (9-3, 4-0 GLIAC).

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