Thurs., Feb. 16 • 8:00 p.m. (ET) at Grand Valley St. Sat., Feb. 18 • 3:00 p.m. (ET) at Ferris St.
Michigan Tech (14-11, 12-6 GLIAC) at Grand Valley St. (15-10, 11-7 GLIAC) Ferris St. (21-4, 15-3 GLIAC)
Radio: WKMJ 93.5 (Kirk McDonnell)
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Michigan Tech split two games last week, falling to Wayne State on Thursday 68-47 before regrouping against Saginaw Valley State on Saturday for a 66-60 win on Senior Day. Sophomore Kyle Monroe had a game high 25 points to pace Tech in the Wayne State game and followed it up with 11 points and eight rebounds on Saturday versus SVSU. Sophomore Bryan Heath guided the Huskies with 18 points followed by senior Jordan Chartier with 16 points on Saturday. Heath had a trio of three-point buckets while Chartier found the range on two treys' and made good on 5 of 7 attempts from the field overall. Junior A.J. Grazulis finished with eight points, senior Jason Hawke chipped in seven points, and freshman Tommy Lucca posted six points while distributing seven assists. Since the turn of the calendar year, the Huskies boast a 9-4 record with an overall record of 14-11 and 12-6 in the GLIAC going into the week.
MONROE OVER 900
Kyle Monroe surpassed 900 career points this past week and goes into Thursday's battle at Grand Valley State with 927 career points. Monroe has accumulated 442 points this season after scoring 485 points as a freshman in 2015-16. Monroe has recorded 30 or more points in the game four times this season with a career high 39 points at home against Walsh on December 3rd. Monroe is averaging 20.1 points per game this season while connecting on 49.1% of his field goal attempts. He is currently fourth in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in scoring.
GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Michigan Tech is in the top three in five categories of the GLIAC Statistical rankings going into this week's games against Grand Valley State and Ferris State. The Huskies turn the ball over only 8.8 times per game (1st), are second in the league at 9.8 triples per contest, are third in the conference in three-point shooting percentage (39.3%), and are the top free throw shooting team in regards to percentage at the charity stripe (80.8%). In addition, Tech is second in the GLIAC rankings in three point shots attempted per game (25.0). Monroe is currently fourth in the conference in scoring with his team leading 20.1 points per game average while Chartier is sixth in the GLIAC in three-point percentage (44.5%).
Michigan Tech is one of three teams that have clinched a spot in the upcoming GLIAC Tournament going into this week's conference games. The Huskies have a one game lead on Lake Superior State, Wayne State, and Grand Valley State for second place in the North Division. Ferris State, who the Huskies will play Saturday, lead the North Division with an overall record of 21-4 and 15-3 against conference opponents. The Bulldogs are ranked 24th in the latest NABC NCAA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll and have clinched a playoff spot while being guaranteed to be at home for the quarterfinals. In the South Division, only one team has clinched so far and that's division leader Findlay. The Oilers boast an overall record of 19-5 and 13-4 in the GLIAC.
LAST TIME VERSUS GVSU AND FSU
Michigan Tech outlasted Grand Valley State 72-64 in Houhgton back on January 26th. It was the Huskies' fifth straight win at the time and they were led that day by Monroe with 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Tech then narrowly lost to Ferris State 77-76 on January 28th. The Huskies rallied from a 12-point deficit to make it close in the end. Senior Jordan Chartier had a game and career high 28 points for Tech.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Grand Valley State is 15-10 overall and 11-7 in the GLIAC heading into Thursday's game with the Huskies. The Lakers have won two straight by virtue of triumphs at home against Northwood and Lake Superior State. GVSU boasts a solid defense, limiting opposing shooters to a 38.8 percentage from the field. The Lakers are third in the GLIAC in blocks per game (3.6) and fifth in steals per contest (6.6). GVSU is tough on the boards as well, out-rebounding teams at a 5.9 rpg pace. Guard Luke Ryskamp powers the Lakers in scoring at 14.0 ppg followed by forward Trevin Alexander at 10.9 ppg in addition to a team high 8.2 rebounds per game. As a team, the Lakers are scoring 74.2 ppg while giving up 66.9 ppg to oponents.
Ferris State ranks first in multiple categories of the GLIAC statistical rankings going into this week's games. The Bulldogs are first in total points (1,572), points per game (88.5), field goals made per game (32.8), total rebounds per game (41.2), and blocks per game (6.9). Ferris State is led by center Zach Hankins who averages 14.9 ppg while converting 65,7% of his field goal attempts. Guard Quentin Ruff is posting 13.7 ppg, guard Peter Firlik avergaes 12.3 ppg, and Drew Cushingberry notches 10,7 ppg. Hankins is also the top rebiounder on the club thanks to a 9.7 rpg average. The Bulldogs defense is limiting opponents to 73.1 points per game so far this season.
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. He reached the 400 win mark on January 19th with an 83-72 win over Northwood at home.
The Huskies close the regular season at home next Thursday against Northern Michigan.