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Huskies Suffer 68-47 Setback against Wayne State

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team came up empty Thursday night 68-47 against Wayne State University in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest at the SDC Wood Gym. The Warriors collected the first 10 points of the game and the Huskies were unable to overcome the slow start and early deficit.

"It's catching up with us not defending well as a team and tonight it was very evident," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "It's effecting our offense as well and it led to a bad night shooting the basketball. Credit goes to Wayne State because they played a good game tonight. They out toughed us, they out executed us, and they wanted it more than us and they got it."

Wayne State (13-8, 10-7 GLIAC) vaulted out of the gate thanks to a hot start from Chuck Key who dropped in eight of the first 10 points on four layups. Clark Bishop capped with 10-0 scoring run by the Warriors on a jumper with 16:52 left in the first half. About a minute later, junior A.J. Grazulis put Michigan Tech (13-11, 11-6 GLIAC) on the board with a pair of free throws to make it a 10-2 Warrior advantage.

Wayne State went up 16-4 on a Clark Bishop layup at the 13:42 mark of the first half before the Huskies were able to piece together a 6-0 run to claw back within six points at 16-10. Sophomore Kyle Monroe connected on a triple from behind the arc followed by a conventional three-point play with 12:01 to go until the break. The Warriors then answered with five straight points of their own to push the Tech deficit back to double digits again at 21-10 with just over 11 minutes left in the first half.

Tech climbed to within nine points again at 30-21 on a trey by sophomore Bryan Heath with just under three minutes remaining in the opening 20 minutes. George Spencer would then answer with a three-point bucket of his own for WSU before two free throws by freshman Tommy Lucca sliced the Huskies gap to 33-23 right before the intermission.

Unfortunately, the Warriors had a quick start to the second half and in the first four minutes of the final frame had created a 17-point separation at 40-23. Key, Ronald Booth, and Bishop all contributed points in the 7-0 burst to begin the final period Thursday night for Wayne State. The Huskies were unable to get within striking distance the rest of the way.

Monroe scored a game high 25 points to pace Michigan Tech followed by Grazulis, Lucca, and Heath with six points apiece. Senior Jordan Chartier along with Heath shared the team in rebounds with four each. Junior Tanner Uren distributed three assists with Monroe, Chartier, and junior Dillon Gordon coming up with steals.

As a team, the Huskies converted 16 of 51 shots from the field (31.4%), were 4 of 21 from three-point range (19.0%), and 11 of 14 at the free throw stripe. Tech created seven points off turnovers and scored 22 points in the paint.

Key and Booth both tossed in 18 points for Wayne State followed by Spencer with 11 points and Marcus Moore had 10 points to round out the double digit scorers. Spencer also hauled down a team high eight rebounds while Booth dished out four assists. The Warriors were successful on 24 of 46 shots from the field (52.2%), connected on 7 of 14 attempts from behind the arc (50.0%), and converted 13 of 15 looks at the charity stripe (86.7%). Wayne State out-rebounded the Huskies 39-21 and scored 28 points in the paint.

The Huskies will look to regroup on Saturday when they host Saginaw Valley State for another GLIAC showdown. Tech is tied for second with Lake Superior State in the GLIAC North Division going into the contest. The tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.