Men's Basketball Defeats Mustangs in Season Opener

MARSHALL, Minn. - Ali Haidar scored 32 points and Ben Stelzer added 22 to lead Michigan Tech to a 75-67 win at Southwest Minnesota State Thursday (Nov. 15).

The Mustangs started strong and built a nine point lead, its largest of the game, at the 10:41 mark. Stelzer made back-to-back 3-pointers and a pair of free throws to pull the Huskies within one point at 6:37. The Huskies entered halftime with a one point lead, 35-34.

"I knew this team was going to give a great effort both offensively and defensively and in terms of intensity," said head coach Kevin Luke. "It took some time for us to settle down."

Just like he did in the first half, Stelzer made back-to-back 3-pointers to kick-start a 17-7 run by the Huskies over the final five minutes. Tech's defense excelled during the run allowing a single 3-pointer from the field with Southwest's other four points coming from free throws.

"The changing point for us was the two threes in the first half by Stelzer," said Luke. "And then he followed with another pair in the second half. Our boys came back and played with poise in the second half."

Haidar finished with 14 rebounds to accompany his 32 points to finish with a double-double. The Windsor, Ont., native shot 13-of-19 from the field with three assists, one block and an assist.

Stelzer's 22 points came compliments of six 3-pointers, and he made all four free throw attempts.

Austin Armga finished with 10 points and six rebounds for the Huskies.

Four players finished in double figures for the Mustangs led by Jordan Miller's 15 points.

Michigan Tech shot 49-percent (26-53) and held SWMSU to 42-percent (23-55). The Mustangs shot 58-percent (7-12) from behind the arc.

Tech will play at Minn. Duluth Saturday (Nov. 17).