Men’s Basketball Improves to 4-0 With Win Over Malone

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team kept its unbeaten record intact with an 81-55 win over Malone in the GLIAC opener on Thursday (Dec. 5) evening at the SDC Gym. The Huskies held the Pioneers to almost 40 points below their season average and had four players in double figures to improve to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the GLIAC.

The Huskies opened the second half scoring with three straight points and led by 17 (49-32) with 15:40 left. Tech held a double-digit lead the whole second half and led by as many was 28 down the stretch.

Malone (2-2, 0-1 GLIAC) cut the deficit to 11 twice in the final 20 minutes of play and trailed 55-44 with 8:24 remaining, but Tech closed the game on a 17-5 run for the 26-point victory.

"I liked our defense and the offensive balance," Tech coach Kevin Luke said. "We showed some progress, getting Troy Hecht and Luke Heller some confidence. Alex shot pretty well and Ben and Austin were their normal selves as far as scoring."

The Huskies had a 16-15 lead midway through the first half but went on an 8-0 run to take command. Heller buried his first career 3-pointer in the run.

Tech expanded the lead to 12 and led 42-30 at the break. Austin Armga (13) and Ben Stelzer (10) were both in double figures in the opening half.

"I knew Malone wouldn't go away," Luke added. "They'll be a good team this year and will be a lot of people in this league."

Armga finished with a game-high 28 points and is now 41 points shy of breaking the 1,000-point mark for his career. He was 11-for-15 from the field and added a career-high seven assists and six rebounds.

Stelzer scored 12 points while Alex Culy added 11. Heller finished with a career-high 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

As a team, the Huskies shot 52 percent (28-for-54) from the floor and out-rebounded the Pioneers 36-33. All players suited up for the Black and Gold saw playing time.

Jordan Chartier and Jason Hawke combined for 12 points while Connor McLeod and Hecht each added three. Quintan Harris also entered the scoring column with his first bucket as a Husky.

Malone shot only 35 percent from the field, including 3-for-20 from beyond the arc in its first game ever in Houghton. Daniel Wise (13), Cory Veldhuizen (11) and Isiah Elliott (10) scored in double figures for the Pioneers

The Huskies host unbeaten Walsh at 3 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 7) to wrap up the first weekend of conference play. The Cavaliers won 95-66 at Northern Michigan on Thursday.

"Walsh is another quality team," said Luke. "They have athleticism, height and good guard play. It's going to be another tough game but we're at home, and we owe them because they got us last year."