COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team put together one of its strongest performances of the season on Saturday resulting in a 77-56 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory at Ohio Dominican. The Huskies used a quick start to set the tone for the remainder of the afternoon.
"Our team did a nice job bouncing back from a tough loss on Thursday night," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "We have a good club, good systems, and good players and we put a solid effort forward this afternoon to get the win. I'm proud of this team no matter what happens, but I'm really proud of this team when we do the right things. If we do what we are capable of doing it gives us chance and builds confidence. The result was a quick start and a strong performance today."
Michigan Tech (4-5, 2-1 GLIAC) scored first on Saturday when freshman guard Tommy Lucca broke the ice with a jump shot 46 seconds into the action. Ohio Dominican (6-3, 2-2 GLIAC) would gain its only lead of the contest when Adam Cytlak knocked down a triple to make it 3-2 with 18:15 left on the first half clock.
The Huskies then proceeded to go on a 16-0 scoring burst over the next four minutes, resulting in an 18-3 advantage. Senior guard Jordan Chartier dialed in a triple to push Tech ahead again 5-3 followed by a layup from junior forward A.J. Grazulis and a jumper from sophomore forward Kyle Monroe. A trio of trey's released by sophomore guard Bryan Heath, Monroe, and Lucca produced the 18-3 advantage with 14:21 left on the first half clock.
The Panthers chipped away at their deficit over the next few minutes and pulled to within four points of Tech with 8:13 on the clock. Sam Hickey connected on a jumper from behind the arc to make it a 27-23 score. Monroe and senior forward Jason Hawke countered with back to back layups for the Huskies to stall the ODU momentum and make it a 31-23 game.
Leading 41-31 with 1:04 to go until the break, the Huskies closed the first half with five of the final six points in the opening 20 minutes. Heath tossed in a triple with 46 seconds to go and Monroe wrapped up the half with a pair of free throws. The only point for the Panthers during that stretch was a free throw from Ben Cassanova. The Huskies carried a 46-32 lead into the locker room at halftime and owned a double digit surplus the rest of the way.
Tech stayed hot at the beginning of the second half by engineering a 9-2 run to pull even further in front. Monroe eventually gave the Huskies their first 20-point lead at 57-37 with 13:19 to play on a midrange jumper. The Huskies then built their largest lead of the afternoon with just under nine minutes to go in the contest. Monroe did the honors again by filling up a two-point jumper to make it a 71-41 score. The Panthers posted some late buckets down the stretch, but not nearly enough to overtake Tech before the final buzzer.
Monroe guided the Michigan Tech offense with 30 points and nine rebounds Saturday at ODU. He was 12 of 17 from the field, 3 for 5 from three-point land, and 3 for 3 at the charity stripe. Heath followed with 12 points, Chartier recorded a 10-point and six assist performance while Lucca chipped in nine points and an additional four assists. Junior guard Tanner Uren had a solid game with seven points off the bench for the Huskies.
As a team, Tech was 30 of 57 from the field (52.6%), 12 of 27 from three-point range (44.4%), and 5 for 5 at the free throw line (100.0%). Rebounds were even at 28-28, but Tech forced 15 Ohio Dominican turnovers which resulted in 24 points.
Ryan Hoyng had 13 points off the bench to pace the Panthers offense in Saturday's game. He was 4 of 6 from the field and 3 for 3 from behind the arc. Casanova tacked on 11 points and Hickey rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points. Adam Cytlak grabbed eight rebounds and handed out four assists. As a team, ODU fired in 18 of 45 shots from the field (40.0%), were 8 for 22 from three-point range (36.4%), and 12 of 17 at the free throw line (70.6%).
The Huskies will return home on Thursday to host Hillsdale in another GLIAC battle in the SDC Wood Gym. The tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.