PREVIEW: Huskies Open GLIAC Play against Saginaw Valley State and Northwood

Sports

Dec 04, 2019      

Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Thurs. Dec. 5 • 7:30 p.m. vs Saginaw Valley St. • Sat. Dec. 7 • 2 p.m. vs Northwood.
Michigan Tech (4-2, 0-0 GLIAC) vs Saginaw Valley St. (4-2, 0-0 GLIAC) and Northwood (4-2, 0-0 GLIAC)
Radio: Mix93 FM WKMJ (Mitch Lake)
Video Stream: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/mtu/
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Live Stats: https://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/mbkb/2019-20/schedule

2019-20 WEEK FOUR IN REVIEW
Michigan Tech recorded two big road wins last weekend at Alaska Anchorage 83-80 and Alaska Fairbanks 65-57. On Friday against Anchorage, Sophomore Owen White gave the Huskies the lead with less than 15 seconds to play and then blocked a shot on the ensuing Alaska Anchorage possession to seal the win for Tech. In the victory against Fairbanks, The Huskies trailed 38-26 at the break before outscoring the Nanooks 39-19 in the final 20 minutes for their fourth overall win of the season.

On Friday night, senior Kyle Monroe paced the Huskies with a game high 26 points while adding five rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a blocked shot. Senior Tommy Lucca followed with 16 points, five rebounds, and a team high eight assists while White rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points, three assists, and the key block at the end of the game.

The Huskies had four players with 10 points or more Saturday against Fairbanks, paced by junior Dawson Bilski with 16 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Monroe followed with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists while White and junior Isaac Appleby chipped in with 10 points apiece. Lucca tacked on six points and distributed a game high nine assists for the Huskies who ended the night with 21 total as a team. Monroe and Bilski shared the team lead in rebounds. The performances by Monroe and Lucca earned them spots on the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament Team.

MONROE NAMED GLIAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the second time this season, Michigan Tech senior forward Kyle Monroe has been named the named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division Player of the Week, announced Monday by the conference office. It’s the second week in a row that a Husky has earned GLIAC Player of the Week honors with senior guard Tommy Lucca receiving those accolades last week.

Monroe, who hails from Green Bay, Wisconsin, helped lead the Huskies to a pair of wins at the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Alaska Anchorage. Tech rallied for wins both nights as Monroe poured in 26 points in an 83-80 victory over Anchorage Friday followed by 15 points against Fairbanks in a 65-57 triumph Saturday. Monroe converted on 48.4 percent of his shots from the field in the two games combined while producing 10 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals over the course of two games. Monroe was named the “Most Outstanding Player” of the tournament.

GLIAC PRESEASON POLL
Michigan Tech was picked to finish third in the GLIAC North Division for the third consecutive year, pulling in 45 points and one first place vote in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll announced Wednesday by the conference office. Ferris State once again sits atop the North Division with 55 points and six first place votes. Parkside checks in just behind the Bulldogs with 51 points and five first place nods. Lake Superior State is slated to finish fourth with 33 points, Purdue Northwest fifth with 17 points, and Northern Michigan sixth with 15 points.

Over in the South Division, defending GLIAC Champion Davenport University is penciled in to the No. 1 spot with 61 points and 11 of the 12 first place votes. Ashland University is second with 50 points and one first place vote while Grand Valley State holds down the No. 3 position with 39 points. Northwood is fourth with 26 points, Saginaw Valley State is fifth with 24 points, and Wayne State is sixth with 16 points to round out the bottom three teams in the poll.

GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Through the first four games of the season, the Huskies are ranked near the top of the GLIAC statistical rankings in a number of categories. Tech leads the conference in free throw shooting percentage (83.8%) and is fifth in the GLIAC in three-point baskets made per game at 8.5. The defense is fourth in fewest points allowed per game at 68.5 and are fifth in steals at 6.7 each time the team takes the floor. Kyle Monroe leads the GLIAC in scoring at 21.3 points per game, is 10th in rebounding at 6.8 boards per contest and third in free throw shooting percentage (90.3%) while Lucca and Monroe are sixth the GLIAC in steals per game (1.7). Lucca is tops in the GLIAC in assists per game (5.8).

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Saginaw Valley State enters Thursday’s game with an overall record of 4-2. The Cardinals have four consecutive victories, including a 101-78 decision over Wisconsin-Stout on Sunday. Their only two losses were at the hands of Indianapolis 77-73 and Bellarmine 97-68. The Cardinals lead the GLIAC in three-point baskets made per game at 10.3 while ranking third in the conference in points per game with 82.7. Defensively, Saginaw Valley State is tops in the conference with a 9.8 steals per game average. The Cardinals are allowing 76.8 points per game and hold a slight edge in rebounding at 36.2-35.8. Individually, the Cardinals are powered by Malik Ellison who owns a 19.2 points per game scoring average while dishing out 3.7 assists per contest. He is followed by Darnell Hoskins Jr. at 13.3 points per game while Fred John Jr. chips in 8.5 points each time he takes the court and leads the team on the glass with 6.7 boards per game.

Northwood is also 4-2 overall as they get set to face Northern Michigan in Marquette before arriving in Houghton Saturday to battle the Huskies. The Timberwolves topped Cedarville 75-71 last Tuesday while adding key wins over Malone and Findlay. Their two losses were also to Bellarmine and Indianapolis on the road. Northwood’s defense guides the GLIAC in blocks per game at 4.3 and fourth in scoring with a 77.7 points per game average. The defense is giving up just 70.3 points per night to opponents this season. Trey McBride to the top scorer on the team, checking into the weekend with a 15.3 points per game scoring average. Bruno Solomun is hauling down 7.2 rebounds per contest for the Timberwolves.

COACH LUKE
Kevin Luke, the winningest coach in Michigan Tech basketball history is in his 26th season leading the Huskies in 2019-20. He has earned a plethora of accolades since his appointment as the program’s 11th head coach in May of 1994. Luke has guided the Huskies to five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, earned eight NCAA Tournament berths and won his 300th game in a 74-72 victory over Grand Valley State on March 2, 2011. He reached the 400 win mark on January 19th, 2017 with an 83-72 win over Northwood at home. He owns an impressive 433-286 overall record, including a 289-196 mark in conference play. His winning percentage of .602 ranks as the best in Husky hoop annals.

UP NEXT
The Huskies remain at home to play Finlandia University Wednesday December 11 followed by a showdown with rival Northern Michigan University on Sunday December 15. The Lions are 0-9 this season, but have gone into overtime twice, including a 92-85 loss to St. Scholastica on November 26. The Wildcats are 3-3 as they prepare to host Northwood University Thursday and Saginaw Valley State Saturday to begin GLIAC play.

Courtesy: MTU Athletics

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