Extra fun in overtime: Huskies score 16 in extra session to earn 91-87 win over visiting Lakers

HOUGHTON — It looked like it was going to be another one of those basketball games for the Michigan Tech Huskies mens basketball team on Thursday. Fortunately, before all was said and done, the Huskies recovered enough to force overtime and then earn the victory, 91-87, over the Grand Valley State Lakers at the Wood Gym,

The Huskies opened the contest looking as tower going to play a tough first 10-12 minutes of ball in the first half against their opponent and then get sloppy and have a big hole to dig out of headed into the second half.

The “script” was being acted out almost bucket-for-bucket as this week’s team, the Lakers (11-6 overall, 5-4 GLIAC), took the leading role to start the game. The Huskies lost the jump ball and were behind 13-7 at the 4:53 mark. Then it became 21-12 at the 10:50 mark and 38-27 with under two minutes to play.

At half the scoreboard read 40-28 in favor of the Lakers. The hole appeared to have been dug.

“At halftime, I went over with the guys why we were 12 points down,” said Huskies coach Kevin Luke. “We reviewed a bad offensive pass or a missed rebound or a turnover situation where they could listen and we could regroup and re focus and they did.”

They Huskies stepped up and changed the script of some of their past woes and pulled off the stunning victory.

The second half started out somewhat slow as the two teams traded deuces, and the Huskies could not get much closer than eight. However, three minutes into the second, Michigan Tech went on a 9-0 run and came within five points of the Lakers.

The run started with a Bryan Heath three pointer from the corner and was followed by back-to-back threes from Dawson Bilski. However the Lakers were not going to surrender and took advantage of some missed shots by the Huskies to bounce back to a 12-point lead with big shots by their two leading scorers Hunter Hale and Jake Van Tubbergen with 12:25 to play.

The scoreboard bounced back and forth for the next several minutes with Tech struggling to gain any ground. They came within six thanks to an Isaac Appleby jumper at the 10-minute mark only to fall back to nine with just six minutes remaining. But Owen White fired up another run of nine unanswered points in the last minutes that would tie the game at 68-68 with four minutes to play. Heath and TeeAaron Powell both had key scores in that final run.

With less than a minute to go, Tech had the lead, 75-73, but Owen White bumped Van Tubbergen in the paint and he sunk his free throws to tie the game and send it into overtime.

“All the credit goes to the guys,” said Luke. “They never quit, and they stuck with it.”

In the five-minute overtime, it was a one or two point game down to the last 30 seconds. However, Michigan Tech would gain the upper hand at the free throw line. Heath, Bilski and Appleby made their two points from the charity strip and held off the Lakers offensive for the big win.

Four Huskies scored in the double digits. Appleby led with 21 points and nine rebounds. Bilski followed with 20 points. Heath had 19 and White had 16 with nine rebounds as well.

The team was an impressive 26-28 (92.9 percent) from the free throw line.

Up next, the Huskies will face Davenport on Saturday.

“We will get some rest and have a light practice tomorrow and prepare mentally for a good start in the first half on Saturday,” said Luke. “That way we do not have to work so hard in the second.”