Thurs., Jan. 12 • 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Wayne State • Sat. Jan. 14 • 3 p.m. (ET) at SVSU
Michigan Tech (6-8, 4-3 GLIAC) at Wayne State (9-2, 6-1 GLIAC) and Saginaw Valley (11-3, 4-3 GLIAC)
TV: Comcast Channel CN900
Radio: WKMJ 93.5 (Kirk McDonnell)
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
SOUTH DIVISION SCHEDULE COMPLETE
The Huskies finished up the south division portion of this year's GLIAC schedule last week with a come from behind 80-71 win at Ashland Thursday night followed by a 71-64 setback at Tiffin on Saturday. Tech recovered from a slow start to erase a 34-21 first half deficit, outscoring the Eagles 42-26 on their way to the win. Tommy Lucca led all scorers with a game high 24 points for the Huskies in Thursday night's victory. He was 5 of 9 from behind the three-point arc and dealt out seven assists. Kyle Monroe posted 16 points, seven rebounds, and three steals followed by Bryan Heath with 15 points and Jordan Chartier with 12 points, five assists, and seven rebounds. Tanner Uren ended the contest with six points, two rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Lucca had another big afternoon for Tech at Tiffin, guiding the Huskies with a season and career high 29 points followed by Monroe with 14 points and Heath with 10 points. Lucca grabbed nine rebounds, dished out three assists, and had two steals in addition to his point totals.
LUCCA GLIAC NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tommy Lucca was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Divsion Player of the Week for the first time this season. Lucca, a freshman guard from Genoa, Illinois, combined for 53 points on the week with 24 coming in the 80-71 victory at Ashland followed by the career high 29 points at Tiffin. Lucca connected on 50 percent of his three-point field goals (10-20) and went 9 for 11 from the free throw line. He dished out a combined total of 10 assists, including seven in the win over Ashland. Lucca enters the upcoming week averaging 18.4 points per game (5th in the GLIAC) while leading Tech in assists per game (4.2) and steals per game (1.1). In addition, he is currently second on the team in rebounding at 4.0 boards per night. Lucca has now scored 20 or more points in a game seven times this season.
GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
The Huskies remain atop the GLIAC statistical rankings in regards to turnovers and taking care of the basketball. The Huskies lead the conference in fewest turnovers per game at 8.6. Tech is also the top free throw shooting team in the conference, converting 77.4% of their shots from the charity stripe.The Huskies are averaging 10.2 triples made per game which is second most in the conference and are seventh in conversion percentage from behind the arc (37.8%). Tech is also pacing the GLIAC rankings in average home attendance. (864). Kyle Monroe and Tommy Lucca are both ranked in the top five in scoring going into this week. Monroe is fourth at 18.5 ppg and Lucca is fourth at 18.4 ppg.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Michigan Tech will have covered roughly 2,485 miles during this four game road trip. Last week the Huskies went 1,383 miles to Ashland and Tiffin and will travel 1,102 miles this week. The combined distance of 2,485 miles is greater than the distance from Houghton to Los Angeles (2,293) and Houhgton to MIami, Florida (1,792).
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Tech will open the week Thursday night at Wayne State who is currently 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the GLIAC. The Warriors only GLIAC loss of the season came at the hands of Findlay last week 70-64. Their defense ranks second in points allowed per game (63.7) and opponents' field goal percentage (40.7%). Wayne State is also fourth in the conference in steals per game (7.5). Individually, the Warriors are guided by Ronald Booth who averages 14.9 points per game. Michael Lewis posts 10.4 ppg and hauls down a team best 5.9 rebounds each time he takes the floor. The Wayne State offense enters the game with a 72.0 ppg scoring average. The Warriors lead the all-time series 52-30, but Tech has won the previous five meetings.
Saginaw Valley State boasts an overall record of 11-3 and is ranked 18th in the latest NABC NCAA Division II Poll. The Cardinals are 4-3 against GLIAC foes this season, but have lost two in a row coming into the week. They wrapped up their portion of the South Division schedule with losses at Findlay (88-78) and Walsh (87-85). Garrett Hall is the top player on offense at 16.0 points per game followed closely by C.J. Turnage who notches 15.3 ppg. Turnage is fourth in the GLIAC in both field goal pecentage (61.3%) and rebounding (8.1 rpg). As a team, The Cardinals are averaging 82 points per game while surrendering just 71.6 ppg to opponents. SVSU leads the all-time series with Tech 42-39 and won both of last year's battles with the Huskies.
Kevin Luke, the winningest coach in Michigan Tech basketball history begins his 23rd season leading the Huskies in 2016-17. He has earned a plethora of accolades since his appointment as the program's 11th head coach in May of 1994. Luke has guided the Huskies to five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, earned eight NCAA Tournament berths and won his 300th game in a 74-72 victory over Grand Valley State on March 2, 2011.
The Huskies will return to Houghton next week to open a four game homestand against Northwood on Thursday and Lake Superior State on Saturday. Tip-off times are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.