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Men’s Basketball: Huskies slip past Parkside

Michigan Tech’s Owen White (22) puts up a shot against Parkside on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Houghton, Mich. (David Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — The Michigan Tech Huskies men’s basketball team evened the score with GLIAC rivals Wisconsin-Parkside on Saturday with a 79-55 win at the SDC Gym.

It was the second time these two teams played. A month ago the Rangers defeated the Huskies 69-56 at Parkside.

“I was very happy with the way we played,” said Tech head coach Kevin Luke. “We played Tech basketball today as we got to the rim and worked the ball inside and out.”

Fundamental defense and sharp shooting were the name of the game for the Huskies. In particular, Luke noted that he was quite pleased with the way his squad kept Parkside’s 6-foot-9 center, Joey St. Pierre, from having a big game. He scored just 13 points and was their only player in double figures.

“I think that keeping him just a little bit off balance was a big key for us,” Luke said.

Offensively, the Huskies wasted no time in getting out in front. They jumped out to a 16-7 lead and eventually made it a 13-point lead with a few minutes left in the half.

The Huskies (16-7, 10- 5 GLIAC) shot an impressive 62.1 percent from the field in the first half. They led 45-29 against the Rangers(10- 13, 6-9 GLIAC) after the first 20 minutes. Almost half of their 45 first-half points came from inside the paint while another 18 came from beyond the three-point arc.

“We feel comfortable at home and were able to spread the wealth offensively with three or four guys shooting well,” said Luke. “That is great for our players confidence.”

The Huskies kept the momentum going coming out of the locker room. The Huskies pushed their lead to 29 points with less than five minutes to go in the game thanks to Carter Johnson. His three-pointer put the Huskies at a 73-44 advantage.

Tech turned the ball over just eight times while the Rangers committed 14 turnovers. The Huskies were able to convert those turnovers into 20 points. As well Tech had 10 steals on the afternoon while the Rangers had just four.

Dawson Bilski led the scoring charge for MTU with 23 points. He was 5 of 7 in the three point category. Following Bilski was Kyle Monroe with 16 points and four steals. Teammate Owen White had 13 points and had an impressive three blocks on the game.

With the win, the Tech moves into second place in the GLIAC North with just five games to go on the season. They are ahead of Northern Michigan who are in third place and behind Ferris State who top the North Division. They back out on the road once again this week as they play Ferris State for the second time this season. They then travel to Lake Superior State for a game on Saturday. The Huskies beat both teams at home earlier this season.

“Ferris will be looking to get revenge on us and then we have Lake (Superior) State who are very well coached and hard to beat in their own gym,” said Luke.

After this road trip, the Huskies will have just three more games. They will play two at home and end the season at NMU on Feb. 27.

Wis.-Parkside 29 26 — 55

Michigan Tech 45 34 — 79

WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE: (55) Hau (, Matuelle 4, St. Pierre 13, Oraegbu 9, Evans 2, Morrobel 2, Sigmon 9, Borcia 2, Lee 5. 3-point FG: 7 ( Hau 2, Matuelle 1, Oraegbu 1, Sigmon 1, Lee 1, Myre 1). F: 11. Rebounds 27. FT: 10-14.

MICHIGAN TECH: (79) Monroe 16, Bell 5, Appleby 5. Bilski 23, White 13, Carl 8, Robarge 2, Johnston 5, Powell 2. 3-point FG: 13 (Monroe 2, Bell 1, Appleby 1, Bilski 5, White 1, Carl 2, Johnston 1). F: 14. Rebounds 29. FT: 2-2.

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