January 3, 2013

Men Extend Streak to Six with 66-48 Win over Lake Erie

HOUGHTON, Mich. — The Michigan Tech men's basketball team took care of business at home tonight with a 66-48 GLIAC victory over Lake Erie. The teams battled through a back-and-forth first half before the Huskies' defense imposed its will in the second. The visitors scored just five points through the first 14 minutes of the second frame.

"We just didn't play Tech defense in the first half, and I got on the players about it at halftime," said head coach Kevin Luke. "They tightened up in the second half, and we were able to get some separation."

Tech (9-2 overall, 6-1 GLIAC) led 34-33 at the break, but the Storm scored a free throw to tie the contest to start the second. The hosts then went on a 22-4 run over the next 15 minutes to seize control. LEC misfired on 16 of its 18 field goal attempts and committed eight turnovers in that span.

The Huskies, meanwhile, were relatively efficient. The Black and Gold received points from several sources and converted on 14-of-16 free throw attempts to get the win.

Ali Haidar posted one better than his season scoring average with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting. He added 10 rebounds and four blocks. Three other Huskies tallied in double figures. Ben Stelzer scored 12 points without a field goal, making all 12 of his free throw attempts.

Final shooting percentages were 50.0 for the Huskies and 33.3 for the Storm.

Lake Erie (4-6, 1-5 GLIAC) used heavy ball pressure and strong 3-point shooting (5-of-7 from behind the arc) to stay with the Huskies in the opening half. The visitors held four different leads including a five-point margin at the 8:00 mark of the frame. Tech outscored LEC 50-27 from that point forward.

Michigan Tech will put its six-game winning streak on the line Saturday (Jan. 5) in another GLIAC contest. South Division foe Ashland will come to the SDC Gym for a 1 p.m. tipoff.