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Huskies Begin New Year at Home Against Ohio Dominican

Huskies Begin New Year at Home Against Ohio Dominican

Thursday, January 2, 2014 • 7:30 p.m.
SDC Gym • Houghton, Mich.

Michigan Tech
(6-2, 2-2 GLIAC)


Ohio Dominican
(3-5, 1-3 GLIAC)

The Michigan Tech men's basketball team opens 2014 against Ohio Dominican on Thursday (Jan. 2). Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the SDC Gym in the GLIAC game.

Tech is 4-1 at home this season. Wins were over Minnesota Duluth (78-58) and Southwest Minnesota State (86-64) in the first month of play. In December, the Huskies defeated Malone (81-55) and UW-Parkside (83-79) but fell to Walsh (93-83).

Ohio Dominican is 3-5 overall and 1-3 in GLIAC play. The one conference win was over Saginaw Valley State (76-69) on Dec. 5. Mark Minch (19.9), Trent Weaver (14.5) and Chad Nelson (12.8) lead the Panthers offense. Dan Evans is in his first season as the head coach for ODU, a team that finished 5-23 a season ago and was picked at the bottom of the GLIAC South Division in the preseason poll.

Tech leads the nation in free throw percentage, making 84.1 percent. The Huskies are second in 3-point field goal percentage (47.9), sixth in 3-pointers made per game (11.3) and ninth in fewest turnovers (91).

Austin Armga is second in the nation in points per game (26.9) to lead the GLIAC. He is seventh in the GLIAC in field goal percentage (59.0).
Ben Stelzer leads the nation in 3-pointer field goals made per game (5.00). He is 14th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (51.3) and fifth in the GLIAC in scoring (21.3).

Senior guard Austin Armga became the 26th player in Michigan Tech men's basketball history to score 1,000 career points on Dec. 12. His jumper with 15:29 remaining in the second half at Findlay gave him 1,001 points in his four-year career. Armga is up to 22nd all-time with 1,056 points. He is averaging 12.7 points per game in 83 career games.

The first road trip of 2014 is to Lake Erie on Jan. 9 and Ashland on Jan. 11. The following weekend, the Huskies host Ferris State (Jan. 16) and Grand Valley State (Jan. 18) in the first games against GLIAC North Division teams.

Head coach Kevin Luke is in his 20th season on the bench for the Huskies and has led Tech to five NCAA Tournament appearances and five GLIAC Titles. He has a 344-213 (.618) career record.

The Huskies defeated the Panthers 75-56 on Dec. 13, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. Ali Haidar scored 31 points as Tech held an 18-point halftime lead. Austin Armga (13) and Phil Romback (10) also scored in double figures for the Huskies. 13 players saw action in the game for Tech.

Junior guard Ben Stelzer hit a school record 10 3-pointers on Dec. 14 at Hillsdale. He made 10-of-13 from deep and broke Paul Turino's record of nine 3-pointers in a game from February 1993.

Jordan Chartier is third in the GLIAC and 33rd nationally in assist turnover ratio (4.00)…Tech is 3-0 all-time against Ohio Dominican…Tech has started the same five players in the first eight games…The Huskies are averaging 81.1 points per game, for fifth in the GLIAC. Six GLIAC teams are averaging more than 80 points per game with two team scoring in the 90s.

Tech was 3-2 in the final month of 2013. The three wins were over Malone (81-55), Hillsdale (84-81) and UW-Parkside (83-79). The two losses were to Walsh (93-83) and No. 15 Findlay (86-73). Austin Armga (25.0) and Ben Stelzer (20.6) were the only Huskies scoring in double figures. Tech made 49 percent from the field and 46 percent from the 3-point line.

The Huskies finished 4-0 in non-conference play. The last time Tech was unbeaten in non-conference play was during the 2001-02 season. The season opened with a 78-58 win over Minnesota Duluth (Nov. 16). The next week (Nov. 22) the Huskies took down Southwest Minnesota State 86-64. The final game of November was at Bemidji State as Tech squeaked out an 81-74 win. The Huskies defeated UW-Parkside 83-79 on Dec. 21 to wrap up non-league play.

Michigan Tech kicked off the season with a 100-51 win over Finlandia in an exhibition game on Nov. 6. The regular season began 10 days later with a 78-58 win over Minnesota Duluth. The Huskies defeated Southwest Minnesota State 86-64 on Nov. 22 and Bemidji State (81-74) on Nov. 26 in the first road game.

• Austin Armga was named to the GLIAC preseason first team and is the top returning scorer after averaging 12.5 points in 27.9 minutes per game in 2012-13. The senior from Waupun, Wis., started 21 of the 25 games he played and shot 56.6 percent from the field and 92.4 percent from the free throw line.
• Ben Stelzer, a GLIAC preseason second team selection, started all 30 games last season and scored a dozen points per game while shooting 45.6 percent from behind the three-point arc and 91.2 percent from the charity stripe. The junior from Manitowoc, Wis., made 2.8 threes while playing 33.1 minutes per game and was named to the GLIAC All-Tournament Team.

The Huskies finished 21-9 overall in 2012-13 and 16-6 in the GLIAC. They reached the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal before falling to eventual national champion Drury. Tech has won back-to-back GLIAC North Division titles.