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Winona State edges Huskies’ men, 62-59

WINONA, Minn. — The Michigan Tech men’s basketball team fell for the first time in the 2019-20 season with a 62-59 non-conference loss at Winona State University Sunday afternoon.

“Credit goes to Winona State who hit a couple of deep and highly contested three-point shots down the stretch,” Michigan Tech head coach Kevin Luke said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to convert on enough of our chances at the end. I thought we guarded and played defense well enough to win the game, but we have to do a better job of executing on offense early and in crunch time. I thought our guys battled hard and didn’t quit and we’ll look to get better this week as we get set to face a very good Minnesota Duluth team Saturday. They have a really nice club and it will be another great challenge for us. The games against these really good teams prepare us for what we’ll see when we get into GLIAC play.”

Winona State (1-3) struck first on Sunday when Devin Whitelow hit the first of 13 three-point shots in the game for the Warriors, who attempted 30 total in the contest. Michigan Tech (2-1) countered with an 8-0 scoring run to quickly surge in front. Senior Kyle Monroe delivered a triple of his own followed by a second long distance jumper to make it 6-3 with 16:08 to play in the first half. Monroe then capped it with a mid-range jumper at the 13:39 mark following a three-minute span of time without points for either side.

The Warriors then rallied to tie the game at 8-8 on a triple by Nick Klug and for the next few minutes the lead changed hands multiple times. In fact, there would be 16 lead changes before the final horn of Sunday’s contest.

Trailing 19-18 with just over five minutes left before halftime, junior Dawson Bilski hit a 3-pointer to once again push the Huskies in front. The Warriors responded with a 13-2 run by to close out the first half, leading 32-23.

The Huskies erased their deficit in the first few minutes of the second half. Monroe got things rolling with a 3-pointer and then sophomore Owen White recaptured the edge for Tech at 38-37 with 13:49 on the second half clock.

Taylor gave the Warriors the edge again 52-51 with 4:07 to play on another triple before Monroe and Bilski combined for five consecutive points. Monroe connected on a mid-range jumper with 3:42 left and then Bilski sank another 3-pointer bucket to give the Huskies a 56-52 lead with 3:14 remaining.

But the Warriors stayed close and prevented Tech stretching the lead.

Monroe guided the Huskies with 28 points and six rebounds after firing in 12 of 22 shots from the field. Bilski followed with 14 points, four rebounds and four steals.

The Huskies host Minnesota Duluth in their home opener at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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