Monroe scores 45, Tech beats Wayne State to advance
DETROIT — Michigan Tech advanced to the GLIAC tournament semifinals with an 88-74 victory at No. 3 seed Wayne State Wednesday. The Huskies have now won all three meetings of the season against the Warriors and earned a trip to the GLIAC final four for the second straight season.
“We started a new season when the tournament began and we are 1-0,” Michigan Tech coach Kevin Luke said. “We did what we had to do tonight, our team played really well, and Kyle Monroe had a great game. We did a good job of taking care of the basketball when we had to. It was a fabulous team effort, we hung in there and held our own on the boards and had a solid night at the free throw line.
“Right now when you are playing in the GLIAC tournament, all the teams you face are good. I believe we belong in the group of four teams still remaining. I’m proud to be in the final four and now we have to take things one half and one possession at a time. I’m excited for our guys to get a chance to compete this weekend.”
Monroe scored 45 points in Wednesday night’s game and currently has 788 on the season to set a Tech single-season record. He was 18 of 24 from the field and 6 of 6 at the free-throw line. It was the fourth time he recorded 40 or more points in a game this season.
Michigan Tech (15-13) set the tone for the game early with a 7-2 scoring run out of the gate. Freshman Dawson Bilski dialed in a triple from the wing after Monroe drew a double team in the post allowing him to fire out a pass to an open Bilski on the perimeter.
Wayne State (15-11) took its only lead at 10-9 with 14:12 remaining in the opening half on a triple by Ronald Booth. The Huskies got back in front on a layup by Monroe on the ensuing possession and never trailed the rest of the night.
The Huskies made 28 of 48 shots from the field (58.3 percent), were 6 of 10 from 3-point range (60 percent) and 26 of 31 at the free-throw line (83.9 percent).
Booth ended the night as the top scorer for the Warriors with 21 points. They finished the night converting 27-56 on shots from the floor (48.2 percent), were 3 of 15 from 3-point range (20 percent) and 17-27 at the free-throw line (63 percent).
The Huskies advance to the GLIAC semifinals and will play the No. 2 seed Lake Superior State at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Top seeded Ferris State takes on the No. 4 seed Ashland in the other semifinal game at 3 p.m. with the winners slated to face each other in the championship game on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. in Big Rapids.
Tech pushed both Lake Superior State and Ferris State to overtime recently, losing to Ferris State 89-84 on Feb. 15 and LSSU 80-76 on Feb. 17. Both of those games happened at the Wood Gym.