March 2, 2013

Men Earn Share of GLIAC Title With NMU Win

HOUGHTON, Mich. - The Michigan Tech men's basketball team claimed a share of the GLIAC Regular Season Title with a convincing 72-48 win over rival Northern Michigan in front of 1,952 fans Saturday (March 2). The conference title was a three-way tie between Michigan Tech, Findlay and Wayne State.

"We hung in there," said head coach Kevin Luke. "I am proud of our seniors for coming through at the end and for their leadership. I am happy for the program."

The Huskies led from start to finish in the win which was the team's biggest since an 86-59 win over Bemidji State on Nov. 20, 2012.

Tech missed only three shots from the field, two of which were 3-pointers, in the first half shooting 75-percent (15-20). The Huskies closed the half on an 11-5 run to lead 36-28 at the break.

Tech's offense cooled in the second half shooting 56-percent (14-25), but the defense stepped up. The Huskies held the Wildcats to 37-percent (7-19) and one 3-pointer (1-6) over the final 20 minutes.

"I wanted to get better today, and we did," said Luke. "I told our guys if we do stuff our way we can beat anybody."

Senior Ali Haidar finished with a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. The Windsor, Ont., native shot 7-of-9 from the field and 3-of-5 from the line.

Junior Austin Armga added 15 points compliments of three 3-pointers.

Tech finished with a 19-3 advantage in bench points with all 13 Tech players seeing game time.

The Huskies dominated play in the paint against the Wildcats with a 32-14 advantage.

The Black and Gold recorded 21 assists, including a game-high six by senior T.J. Brown, on 29 field goals.

Tech (19-7, 16-6) will host a GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal game Wednesday (March 2) at 5:30 pm. The opponent will be determined after the conclusion of all GLIAC games Saturday.