Tech men lose to LSSU for 6th straight loss

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The Michigan Tech men’s basketball team fell at Lake Superior State 84-73 in a GLIAC contest Saturday afternoon. The Huskies battled back from a 22-point second half deficit to close the gap to nine points late in the period, but the Lakers hit some key buckets in the final minutes to hold off Tech.

“One of the positives from today’s game is that we battled back and kept fighting,” Michigan Tech coach Kevin Luke said. “I also thought we were a little more fluid on offense today and our game plan on defense was good as well. We still have some work to do from a mental standpoint and executing our systems well, which we were able to do at times today. This is a good team and we’ll keep working to get things fixed. If we play like we are capable of we have the ability to compete with any team in the GLIAC.”

Michigan Tech (7-9, 4-5 GLIAC) and LSSU (14-3, 8-1 GLIAC) traded buckets during the first few minutes of the first half of Saturday’s game, but LSSU took a 39-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Lakers kept creating more distance between themselves and the Huskies throughout the start of the second half. Josh Goldschmidt fired in a three-point basket with 11:41 left to give LSSU its biggest advantage of the afternoon at 60-38.

The Huskies chipped away at the deficit one basket at a time over the next few minutes. The gap decreased to 11 points at 66-55 following a Kyle Monroe 3-point play. The Lakers then bumped their lead back to 15 points on a couple of occasions until a Tommy Lucca 3-pointer dropped it down to ten points at 75-65 with 4:03 to go. Just under a minute later, Monroe converted at the free throw line to get Tech within single digits at 75-66. But the Huskies never got closer than a nine-point deficit.

Monroe powered the Tech offense with 20 points and shared the team lead in rebounds with four. Bryan Heath had 12 points and four rebounds, and AJ Grazulis and Lucca had 10 points apiece. Lucca also grabbed four rebounds and dished out a team-high six assists. Freshman Dawson Bilski nearly reached double figures for the second game in a row with nine points.

The Huskies shot 28 of 54 from the field (51.9 percent), were 10 of 26 from 3-point range (38.5 percent), and 7 of 11 at the free throw line (63.6 percent). Tech out-rebounded Lake Superior State 23-22.

Akaemji Williams produced a game-high 33 points for the Lakers followed by Josh Goldschmidt with 18 points.

Michigan Tech will travel to Wayne State and Davenport next week for two more GLIAC contests. The Huskies play the Warriors on Thursday night before meeting the Panthers on Saturday. Thursday’s tip-off at Wayne State is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.