Huskies men stun No. 24 Wildcats with 80-68 victory

Michigan Tech guard Marcus Tomashek extends for a layup while drawing coverage from two Northern Michigan defenders during a game Saturday at the SDC Gym in Houghton. (David Archambeau/For the Gazette)

HOUGHTON — The No. 24 Northern Michigan Wildcats came into Saturday’s game with the Michigan Tech Huskies without their star shooter, Max Weisbrod. Without him in the lineup, the Wildcats came out and held the Huskies in check in the first half. However, a stretch of 17 points by sophomore guard Marcus Tomashek in a little over seven minutes to start the second half willed the Huskies into a run in which the Huskies scored 38 points over the final 20 minutes to earn a 80-69 win at the SDC Gym.

The win was the Huskies’ third in a row at home after a tough 1-4 road stretch. They improved to 9-14 overall and 6-8 in GLIAC play with the victory.

“I’m hoping it’s just building confidence, and slowly building some consistency,” said Huskies coach Josh Buettner.

The Huskies needed to find some success if they wanted to get into the GLIAC Tournament, and the current winning streak is helping with that.

“Well, we need to start winning to even get in the tournament, and we’re still obviously not in it, but we need to get some wins to get us out of those bottom two teams,” said Tomashek. “Now we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves. We’ve been playing a lot better than in these three games than we did for most of the season, and it’s really good momentum going into this next road trip.”

With just seconds left on the clock in the first half, Tomashek pulled the Huskies back with two possessions, 37-32, thanks to a layup just prior to the buzzer. The Wildcats jumped out to an eight-point advantage with their first basket of the second half when guard Riley Brooks hit a 3-pointer. However, from there, Tomashek caught fire.

He hit five threes over the course of just over six minutes, and added a layup to the mix. The only other Huskies basket during that stretch was a layup from sophomore guard Dan Gherezgher. At that point, Tomashek had 31 points in the game, the fifth time he had done so this season, and the rest of the Huskies combined for just 20.

“I mean, I got hot,” Tomashek said. “I had pretty good shots, too, and none of them, to me, felt really contested. My teammates trust me to make shots and make difficult shots, too.”

In a hot stretch like that, Tomashek feels confident he can hit almost anything, but he also has trust that his teammates are there to back him up, should he miss.

“If I can get a basket, I’ll go get one,” he said. “But, I know that I have four guys around me that are good players, too. In that moment, I just felt like I had a good matchup and could get a basket.”

Buettner said that the strategy became pretty simple during that run for Tomashek.

“When you have a guy that’s hot, and going to make shots, you give him the ball,” Buettner said. “I mean, that’s something I learned from coach (Kevin) Luke a long time ago. When somebody’s feeling it, just give them the ball and let them go to work.”

As Tomashek slowed down from that hot run that saw him finish with a game-high 34 points, Gherezgher, junior guard Adam Hobson and junior forward Pete Calcaterra were all there to pick up the slack. Gherezgher finished with 22 points, Hobson had nine, and Calcaterra had eight.

Gherezgher and Hobson combined for one truly electrifying moment with 3:34 left in the game. Hobson stole a pass near his own 3-point line, and took off the other direction with speed. He saw Gherezgher jump up to join the fast break and fed the ball over to him. Gherezgher sped in, jumped, and dunked the ball, which caused the Huskies-friendly crowd to explode in unison.

“That was definitely the loudest it’s been when I’ve been at Tech, and it was really cool,” said Tomashek. “We definitely had the whole building’s energy, attention, and it was really cool.”


The Huskies hit the road this weekend for their final road trip of the regular season. They will face Wayne State on Thursday night and then Saginaw Valley State on Saturday.


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